What is Base Oil? An Introduction


If you’re not familiar with the petroleum industry, you might tend to think that there is only one type of oil that is refined from crude oil. In fact, a Chevron base oil plant refinery is able to create several varieties of base oils, from high viscosity oils to light grade oils. Base oils are typically separated into five main groups, arranged by type and by what process the base oil is created. This article is going to look at a brief overview of the five categories of Chevron base oil and how they are produced.

  • Group I: The first group of base oils is also the most crude. Group I base oils are created by a process known as hydro treating. Hydrotreating, according to Science Direct, is a process used in creating high quality fuels by reducing sulfur, nitrogen, and metal content in the oil. This process leaves Group I base oil more stable and less reactive.
  • Group II: The second group of base oils is considered a better grade of oil than Group I. It was first produced in the 1970s and can be produced by a process known as hydrocracking. Hydrocracking would be done after hydro treatment, because hydrocracking uses hydrogen bonds to break molecular bonds and hydrotreating must be applied before hand to prevent any catalytic reactions from occurring.
  • Group III: The third group of base oils are also considered the best grade of petroleum base oil. Unlike the two earlier groups, Group III is produced by hydrocracking, hydrotreating, and hydroisomerization. The combination of all of these processes makes Group III base oil exceptionally pure, which is why it is considered the best grade of petroleum base oil.
  • Group IV: The fourth group of base oils are made up of synthetic oils that are more suitable and stable in extreme temperatures, like very hot weather and very cold weather.
  • Group V: The fifth and final main group of base oils consists of all remaining types of base oils that can’t be included in any of the previously mentioned groups.

In conclusion, when looking at Chevron base oil, remember that there are five main groups of base oil. These oils are divided by type and the processes that go into making them. The processes used to create these oils include hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and hydroisomerization. Some grades of base oil are more pure than others. This is just a brief overview of what base oil is and how it is made.

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