Soot in the lubricating oil: An overlooked concern for the gasoline direct injection engine?
Formation of soot is a known phenomenon for diesel engines, however, only recently emerged for gasoline engines with the introduction of direct injection systems. Soot-in-oil samples from a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine have been analysed. The samples were collected from the oil sump after periods of use in predominantly urban driving conditions with start-stop mode activated. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was performed to measure the soot content in the drained oils. Soot deposition rates were similar to previously reported rates for diesel engines, i.e. 1 wt% per 15,000 km, thus indicating a similar importance. Morphology was assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Images showed fractal agglomerates comprising multiple primary particles with characteristic core-shell nanostructure. Furthermore, large amorphous structures were observed. Primary particle sizes ranged from 3 nm to 55 nm, with an average diameter of 25 nm.