``Energy efficiency and sustainability are the key factors that will address the additive evolution and market`` - Alberto Roselli, Eni
1. What are the key trends in the European lubricant additives market?
The key trends of lubricant additives are strongly related to those of lubricants, therefore energy efficiency and sustainability are the key factors that will address the additive evolution and market.
In the automotive lubrication sector, energy efficiency means first of all fuel economy. Additives and lubricants are asked to be the enablers of the new engine technologies. Low viscosity oils need friction reducers that not only must be very efficient but also must retain their performance during all the oil useful life. Furthermore, in order to be friendly toward the particulate filters, both dpf and gpf, the preferred FRs will be ashless. Organic friction reducers are therefore a class of additives that will grow in importance.
But the optimization of the fuel economy characteristics of engine oils requires a holistic approach.
All the formulation components have a significant role and, among additives, also viscosity modifiers are part of the game. It is well known that novel molecular architectures can provide significant contributions to fe. The role of VMs is also important in providing energy efficiency to gear and hydraulic oils, therefore I expect also for this class of additives an increasing role.
Going back to engine oils, to enable technologies like TGDI, the attitude of these engines to particulate formation and low speed preignition, needs optimized solutions for the detergent system and makes room to new detergents, less prone to give LSPI, still maintaining or improving their control of deposits.
2. What new technologies can change alignment of forces in the lubricants industry?
More than the new technologies I believe that sustainability is the driver to changes in lubricants industry equilibria. In the last decades we have assisted to a progressive concentration of the raw materials availability in the Asia Pacific region. The access to local renewable sources and the increasing role of circular economy has started an inversion process that will bring in the future years to a more diffused distribution of the components both for the additive and lubricant sectors.
3. E-mobility – a threat or an opportunity for lubricants business?
In a worldwide scale, E-mobility will have no significant impact in the next decade.
In Europe I believe it has to be considered a challenge, rather than a threat, because it will require promptness in adapting the lubricant industry structures and products to an evolving scenario.
And ultimately, this is an opportunity where the R&D plays a crucial role.
4. Mr. Roselli, at our upcoming CIS Base Oils &Lubricants event in Moscow on 22 – 24 May you will be talking about ILSAC GF-6 developments and what the introduction of new engine oil specifications means for the industry. Can you give us a short teaser of what our attendees will learn about from your presentation.
When a new specification for engine oils is under development, the oil formulators need to know as soon as possible the performance requests of the new engine tests. This can be done by testing the current technology in the new engine tests as soon as these become available.
At the CIS Base Oils &Lubricants I am going to show how an oil meeting the current ILSAC GF-5 behaves in some of the engine test that will be part of the future ILSAC GF-6 and, regarding fuel economy, what are the formulation levers accessible to the lubricants developers in order to meet the future requirements.
5. And what do you expect from participating in the conference?
The challenges that the additive and lubricant business have to face are very complex and have different shapes depending on the markets and geographic areas, it is therefore very important the open exchange of views with operators coming from different Countries and in particular from the CIS area. This is what the conference provides and I want to take advantage of it.
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