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Volume 11, December 2016, Pages 1-13
Comparative physico-chemical analysis of low-price bulk Nigerian commercial engine oils
Barnabas Atucia, Binfa Bongfab, H.E. Ajibilib
a Mubeco Petroleum Company Limited, Kaduna, Nigeria
b Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal Polytechnic, Idah, Nigeria
The largest players in the lubricant market in Nigeria are the low-price commercial bulk engine oil manufacturers. Their market dynamics are boosted by the consumers’ blind patronage, which is price-based, without authentic knowledge of the serviceability of these products. This work used physicochemical test parameters to predict the serviceability of these low-price engine oils. Six candidate products which are very popular in the market were investigated. The results, when compared with the standard specified for SAE 40 oil revealed that all the candidate oils fell within SAE 40 grade oil, and their specific gravity, pour points and flash points meet the statutory standard requirements. However, only two out of the six candidate products clearly passed crankcase oils minimum statutory standard; one candidate may be accepted when subjected to early drain time because of its low total base number (TBN) which leaves an operator with higher cost implications. The remaining three candidates are unfit for use, majorly from the TBN point of view; with one of these last three also having very low viscosity index (VI). The characteristics of the last three presents a scenario that the VI, and TBN of some of the oils could cause the engines in which they are used to experience early wear from lubricating film starvation and possibly corrosion effect.
Commercial bulk engine oils; Low price; Product integrity
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