ExxonMobil Develops New Lubricant for Refrigeration Compressors

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ExxonMobil has developed a synthetic oil for carbon dioxide-cooled industrial refrigeration applications

Industrial Equipment & Supplies

ExxonMobil Develops New Lubricant for Refrigeration Compressors
ExxonMobil Develops New Lubricant for Refrigeration Compressors

The food industry is increasingly looking for "natural" refrigerants, such as carbon dioxide, as a replacement for traditional refrigeration fluids due to the adverse impact they can have on the Ozone layer.

To meet this growth in demand, ExxonMobil has developed a synthetic oil for carbon dioxide-cooled industrial refrigeration applications. Launched at ATMOsphere Europe 2016, Mobil SHC™ Gargoyle 80 POE is formulated specifically for the lubrication of compressors and is particularly suitable for reciprocating designs using carbon dioxide. These are found in applications ranging from food preparation, freezing operations, cold storage and marine refrigeration.

The new lubricant uses polyol esters (POE) to enhance lubricity, wear protection and chemical and thermal stability. It also ensures that Mobil SHC Gargoyle 80 POE offers excellent low-temperature fluidity, in-service viscosity control and a potential contribution toward system efficiency improvements, compared with mineral oils.

The development of Mobil SHC Gargoyle 80 POE was driven by the rapid growth of carbon dioxide as an industrial refrigerant. ExxonMobil predicts that carbon dioxide will be one of the main industrial refrigerants by 2020 and will also feature regularly in light commercial refrigeration operations.

The new lubricant has been formulated to provide a range of benefits:

  • Its high film thickness in the presence of refrigerants is intended to improve compressor protection and shaft sealing compared to mineral oil, potentially extending compressor life, reducing unscheduled downtime and lowering maintenance costs;
  • Its high viscosity index translates into excellent low temperature fluidity and potential for improved evaporator efficiency;
  • Its low traction coefficient should potentially contribute towards system efficiency improvements and reduced power consumption compared to mineral oils.

"Natural refrigerants are growing in popularity in the refrigeration industry in Europe and increasingly across the world," said Andrea Jacobsen, ExxonMobil's industrial marketing manager for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. "Our new synthetic lubricant for refrigeration compressors will meet this growing need while also adding a range of equipment-protecting qualities and, according to trials, potentially contributing toward enhanced energy efficiency."

Mobil SHC Gargoyle 80 POE in action

As part of its development, Mobil SHC Gargoyle 80 POE was tested on four reciprocating compressors over 18 months in a major food preparation facility in north-western France. The facility switched to Mobil SHC Gargoyle 80 POE from a conventional polyol ester-based product and found the synthetic Mobil lubricant delivered lower oil carter and piston temperatures and lower energy consumption. The customer also reported a reduction in energy consumption by up to two per cent.

For more information on Mobil's range of industrial lubricants, please visit mobilindustrial.com.

Posted on June 8, 2016 - (2035 views)
ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants
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