The Impact of Basic Nitrogen Compounds on the Oxidative and Thermal Stability of Base Oils in Automotive and Industrial Applications
Nitrogen compounds present in mineral base oils at low concentrations are known to accelerate oil oxidation and to reduce the useful lifetime of formulated lubricants. Both Partial Least Squares and Neural Network analyses were employed to establish correlations between base oil composition and performance in industry standard thermal stability and oxidation tests. These correlations show that the “basic nitrogen” (BN) content of a base oil is a very important compositional feature determining its ultimate performance in a formulated lubricant which may be especially important for API Group II and III base oils that are relatively free of other pro-oxidants and naturally occurring, sulfur-containing antioxidants. The effect of BN species was also studied using model nitrogen compounds and it was confirmed that the pro-oxidant effect appears only in “basic” nitrogen containing molecules involving pyridine and quinoline derivatives.