Researchers working with Chinese chemical supplier Naco recently reported progress in the development of low-viscosity polyalphaolefins, generated from coal, that could be used in the formulation of automotive engine oils.
Naco is one of several domestic companies that produce PAOs. According to process uses feedstock from a coal-to-liquids plant. Until now, the PAOs produced by all of these companies have been high-viscosity fluids, in the range of 25 to 100 centiStokes. Heavy PAOs are used mostly as viscosity-modifying additives in lubricant formulations.