(310c) Application of Systematic Methodology for Design of Tailor-Made Blended Products: Lubricant Design

Authors: 
Fedorova, M., Technical University of Denmark
Gani, R., Technical University of Denmark
Fang, Z., Tsinghua University

Application
of systematic methodology for design of tailor-made blended products: Lubricant
design.

Marina Fedorova1,
Laurent Grosset2, Fang Zhou3, Rafiqul
Gani1

1 Department of Chemical and
Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby,
Denmark

2 TOTAL Marketing&Services,
Solaize, France

3 Tsinghua University, Beijung, China

Over
past decades, chemical product engineering has received much attention among
the chemical engineering community. This is due to the transformation of
industries in manufacturing and selling chemical products based on the product
performance rather than compositional specifications.

Traditional
methods used in new product design/development combine a broad knowledge of
existing products with scientific experimentation.  The chemical product is developed based on
scientific hypothesis, intuition or simple trial-and-error. However, this
approach is costly, very time consuming and only a limited number of
experiments can be performed. In order to efficiently design chemical products,
a systematic methodology followed by focused experimental verification is a
better approach. It can be implemented at the initial stage of the design,
where it could minimize the required number of experiments, as well as to identify
possible solutions that normally would lie outside the scope of traditional
approaches, thus increasing the chances of finding better solutions with less
resources.

The
systematic methodology for solving mixture/blend design problem consists of
four main tasks: 1) problem definition – identification of the final product
needs and translations of them into target properties; 2) property models
identification; 3) mixture/blend design; 4) experimental or model-based
verification. Additional tools and methods needed to perform a specific task in
the methodology, which are the property model library, the chemicals database
and the mixture/blend design algorithm, also need to be available.

Application
of the methodology is highlighted with several case studies related to
lubricant design. Lubricants are required in almost all modern machines.
Lubricating oil is a substance introduced between two moving surfaces to reduce
the friction between them, improving efficiency and reducing wear. The
functions of the lubricant depending on application may also include cooling,
cleaning and suspending, protection and transfer power.

The
application of lubricant is classified into two types – engine lubricants and
non-engine lubricants. In this work, the lubricants are designed as engine
oils, which is the largest application of lubricants. Typically lubricants are
a mixture of base oil (65-98%) and performance additives to achieve required
performance and end-user requirements. The target properties for the lubricant
blend can be divided into performance properties, long life properties and
environmental properties.

Focus
of this work is performance properties, as they are central for any lubricant
application. These properties include, for example, viscosity, thermal
properties, low and high temperature properties, friction coefficient and film
thickness that lubricant provides. The first part of the case study is to
design the base oil, which is the main component in lubricant. The second part
focuses on the development of the specific lubricant additive - its properties
are thoroughly studied and the database of the chemicals is created to be used
in the mixture design. Currently this database includes 1202 items. Novel
blends with besigned functional properties are found
in all cases. The method is generic and also be applied for other blended
products.

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