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Decreasing fuel consumption in transport

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Lubricant additive lowers fuel consumption

The NANOL4TP project has developed an additive for engine lubricants that reduces fuel consumption and protects against wear.

Industrial Technologies

Lubricant oil comprises a base oil and a mixture of additives to improve its performance. The demand for high-performance lubricant additives is driven by new regulations that aim to promote better fuel efficiency, improved health and safety, and reduced environmental impacts. The EU-funded Horizon 2020 NANOL4TP project worked with the SME Ab Nanol Technologies Oy to reduce fuel consumption, engine maintenance and environmental impacts in transport. “The company developed and patented the high-performance anti-wear lubricant additive Nanol that reduces fuel and oil consumption, while extending the working life of key engine and machine components,” says project coordinator Johan von Knorring. Less friction means less wear and tear A dual-function additive contains a friction modifier and an anti-wear modifier, meeting both regulatory and operational efficiency requirements. As well as improving engine performance, Nanol is also highly compatible with different engines and oils and the company tested its performance extensively – road, railway and marine engines as well as other components. The copper additive developed through NANOL4TP is a micelle (an aggregation of surfactant molecules) generated in-situ, by reaction between metal alkoxides and stabilised by a layer of surfactant (copper oleate). “The layer which is created at the friction surfaces reduces friction, prevents wear and mitigates hydrogen embrittlement. Furthermore, these effects have been demonstrated in numerous laboratory tests,” von Knorring explains. Know your market Project partners aimed to enhance market understanding and assess the technical feasibility of Nanol by forming a clear marketing strategy. According to von Knorring: “Following discussions with potential customers, partners and research institutions our understanding of the commercial and technical feasibility and performance Nanol has increased.” NANOL4TP created a comprehensive business plan that focused on the transport sector, developing applications, customers and markets. “We have identified ways to further optimise the technology and the ingredients used. In addition, laboratory and full-scale tests have re-confirmed the technical properties and the commercial potential,” comments von Knorring. Major benefits for the transport sector Ships consume around 15 % of the world’s transport fuels, while new International Maritime Organisation requirements add to the pressure to cut emissions. Researchers therefore tested Nanol for 180 000 hours in marine engines, with customers reporting consistent fuel savings. The team found that adding Nanol to reduce friction resulted in less wear and tear of the machine components. “This will lead to a longer working life for components, increased service and maintenance cycles and lower maintenance costs as well as reduced use of raw materials, and reduced emissions,” observes von Knorring. Concerning intellectual property rights matters, three of the pending patent applications have already been granted according to von Knorring. “We think that our patented Nanol lubricant additive will become a key technology in the EUR 70 – 90 billion global lubricants product market,” he concludes.


NANOL4TP, additive, Nanol, lubricant, wear, engine, fuel consumption, emissions

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