Reduction of CO2 emissions and cost analysis of ultra-low viscosity engine oil

Keita Ishizaki, Masaru Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study is focused on the reduction of CO2 emissions and costs associated with ultra-low viscosity (ULV) engine oils for passenger vehicles. Specifically, the reduction in life cycle CO2 (LCCO2) emissions from lower-viscosity engine oil and the oil drain interval (ODI) extension were estimated taking into account both mineral engine oil and synthetic engine oil. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of ULV engine oils were investigated by performing base-stock cost analysis. When the volatility limit of the Noack test (American Society for testing and materials (ASTM) D5800) was set to 15 wt %, the results indicated that the lower limit of kinematic viscosity at 100 °C (KV100) for mineral engine oil (with Group-III base-stock) and synthetic engine oil (with polyalphaolefin (PAO) base-stock) were approximately 5.3 and 4.5 mm2/s, respectively. Compared to conventional 0W-16 mineral engine oil (KV100 6.2 mm2/s), the effect of reducing LCCO2 emissions on ULV mineral engine oil (ULV-Mineral, KV100 5.3 mm2/s) was estimated at 0.6%, considering 1.5-1.8 L gasoline engines in New European Driving Cycles (NEDC) mode. ULV-Mineral, which continues to use a mineral base-stock, is considered highly cost-effective since its cost is similar to the conventional 0W-16 mineral engine oil. On the other hand, compared with ULV-Mineral, the vehicle fuel efficiency improvement from the use of ULV synthetic engine oil (ULV-PAO, KV100 4.5 mm2/s) was estimated to be 0.5%. However, considering CO2 emissions during engine oil production, the reduction of LCCO2 emission from ULV-PAO compared with ULV-Mineral was estimated to be only 0.1% or less using 2030 standards (assuming a vehicle fuel efficiency of 66.5 g-CO2/km) when ODI is set equivalent (7500 km) to mineral engine oil. As a result, ULV-PAO's cost-effectiveness, considering the cost increase of PAO base-stock, was found to be nominal. Contrariwise, when the characteristics of PAO base-stock with higher oxidation stability are used comparatively with the mineral base-stock while extending the ODI to 15,000 km, the effect of reducing LCCO2 emissions of ULV-PAO was estimated to be 0.7% in 2030, making ULV-PAO a competitive and cost-effective alternative. In other words, the popularization of synthetic engine oil toward 2030 will require the consideration of both viscosity reduction and ODI extension.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 18


  • CO emissions
  • Cost analysis
  • Engine oil
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Low viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduction of CO2 emissions and cost analysis of ultra-low viscosity engine oil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this