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The HT Purity Process: Quality Base Oils, Better Performance

Industrial lubricants are essential to keep machinery and equipment operating efficiently and reliably. The performance of these lubricants depends heavily on the quality and purity of the base oils used to produce them. The purer the base oil, the better the lubricant's performance will be.

Petro-Canada Lubricants uses the HT Purity Process to create 99.9% crystal-clear base oils. These are some of the purest base oils in the world. Using a severe level of hydro-processing, the HT Purity Process removes the impurities found in many conventional products which can hinder performance. Here’s how it works:

‍The Solvent Refining Process

  1. A solvent such as furfural is mixed with the fractions and extracts about 70-85% of the aromatic material present.

  2. The solvent extracted lube fraction is then de-waxed by chilling to a low temperature, which removes much of the wax. This improves the low temperature fluidity of the product.

  3. Finally, the de-waxed lube fractions can be finished to improve their colour and stability, depending on the application requirements. One common method of finishing is mild hydro-finishing.

2 Stage Severe Hydro-treating Process

The severe hydro-treating process works to eliminate aromatics and polar compounds by reacting the feed-stock with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst at high temperatures and pressures. Several different reactions occur in this hydro-cracking process, the principle ones being:

  • Removal of polar compounds, containing sulphur, nitrogen and oxygen

  • Conversion of aromatic hydrocarbons to saturated cyclic hydrocarbons

  • Breaking up of heavy molecules to lighter saturated hydrocarbon

These reactions take place at temperatures as high as 400°C and pressures around 3000 psi in the presence of a catalyst. The hydrocarbon molecules that are formed are very stable which is ideal for base oils used for lubricant blending.

There are two stages in the severe hydro-treating process:

Stage 1: Removal of unwanted polar compounds and converting the aromatic components to saturated hydrocarbons. After separation into desired viscosity grades by vacuum distillation, batches of waxy lube base oil are chilled and de-waxed. These are then passed through a second stage high pressure hydro-treater for additional saturation.

Stage 2: Removal of the last traces of aromatic and polar molecules to maximize stability, producing a water-white and 99.9% pure base oil.

Severe Hydro-treating / Hydro-lsomerisation Process

This process yields base oils with higher viscosity index (above 130) and improved yields, compared to previous conventional de-waxing techniques. More often, it is set up to produce high viscosity index base fluids ranging from 115 to 127. A further process feature is the flexibility it offers to produce base oils with pour points lower than -25°C.

Hydro-isomerisation is employed in conjunction with severe hydro-treating to produce superior base oils that have:

  • High Viscosity Index (VI)

  • Low Volatility

  • Excellent Oxidation Resistance

  • High Thermal Stability

  • Excellent Low Temperature Fluidity

  • Low Toxicity

The result of Petro-Canada's HT Purity Process is a range of base oils that are of exceptional quality and purity, making them ideal for use in high-performance industrial lubricants. These lubricants offer superior performance and reliability, reducing equipment downtime and maintenance costs, and increasing overall efficiency. The HT Purity Process is just one example of Petro-Canada Lubricants' commitment to innovation and excellence in lubricant technology.

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