- Feb 26, 2008
BTW. There is a common misunderstanding regarding 'synthetic' oils. They are almost always derived from petroleum. Coal could be used, I suppose, but oil is easier to transport and process..
Essentially, in the refining process, crude oil is used to produce ethylene gas. Then, the ethylene gas is used to synthesize the base stock (polyalphaolefin) for synthetic oil. Because the manufacturing process is well controlled, the oil that is produced is uniform - with virtually ALL the hydrocarbon molecule chains having the same length. On the other hand, when crude oil is distilled and mixed to form motor oils, it starts off as a mish-mash of hydrocarbon molecules with chains of wildly different lengths, as well as impurities like sulpher. After distillation and mixing, motor oil contains molecule chains with a range of lengths. The average length of the hydrocarbon chains are about the same as in synthetic oil, but, inside an engine, with conventional oil, the heat tends to boil off the shorter molecules, and this makes the oil get more viscous (thicker) the longer it is used. Since all the molecules are of the same length in synthetic oil, this gradual thickening of the oil does not occur. As long as you keep the oil clean (with regular changes of the filter,) and the engine filled, synthetic oils can last MUCH longer than can conventional oil.
Ref How is Synthetic Motor Oil Made?
However, both regular oil, AND synthetic oil ultimately come from the same source - out of an oil well. Sorry Dino. Synthetic oil doesn't spare you... .
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I wasn't gonna go there.
Except for Amsoil's claim. Either way, good stuff too.