Fabian Demicoli

Opportunity to participate in FP7 project

Reducing oil consumption whilst improving product quality
and efficiency – The
Commercial Need and or Opportunity : Lubrication (lube) oils are an
essential part of engineering systems with moving parts. These oils act to
separate the moving parts to reduce friction and fatigue as well as reducing
heat generation, operating noise and vibration.

They are used for a range of
applications including: Steel production, motor oil (cars, trains, and buses),
gear boxes, turbines, hydraulic oils and electrical power transformers. The
overall system is strongly influenced by the condition of the lubrication, this
in turn affects the cost through system efficiencies and maintenance costs.

However, lube oils are prone to
degradation through the accumulation of wear particles and physical
due to oxidation aging. Oxidation is caused by a combination of oxygen
heat. The rate of oxidation is strongly affected by the presence of
contaminants such as fines and polar oxidation products (such as soaps
acids) that act as oxidation catalysts. If these catalysts can be
decreased or
eliminate, then this significantly reduces the oxidation rate. A number
methods for cleaning of lube oils have been applied including:
Separation and electrostatic filters which remove large contaminant
However, none of these methods can remove contaminant particles that are
<1μm – It is these small particles (with relatively large
surface area) that strongly affect the rate of oxidation aging.

Proposed Technological Solution

The project is based on an innovative
in-line oil cleaning technology that uses liquid/liquid based on a ‘separation
booster' (a chemical composition) combined with mechanical separation. This is
a radical step beyond current technologies in that it removes contaminant
particles (including catalytic fines and polar oxidation products) down to very
small (nano-) size, much smaller than currently achievable. This approach will
enable the development of an in-line process that significantly reduces the
oxidation aging process, increasing oil lifetime and increasing system
efficiency. Combining this technology with advanced filters allows for removal
of contaminants of all sizes. The project has the potential to "close the loop
for lube oil" with a strong reduction in the oil consumption and related
environmental impacts. The specific project aims to overcome the limitations
relate to:

  • Creation of separation booster
    chemicals for specific applications.

  • Design and development of accurate
    dosing system for separation booster chemicals.

  • Design and development of mixing
    system for immiscible separation boosters and oils.

  • Design and development of in-line
    monitoring and control to optimise performance.

  • To develop an integrated modular
    design for the system.










The system will be demonstrated
for up to 10 lubricating oils (from various applications) and validated on one
industry case-study process.

Impact for the Consortium members

To date the technology has been proven
on the laboratory scale and two 1st generation specialist bespoke units in the
engineering industry. The results to
date have shown up to 90% reduction in lube oil usage for industrial processes
as well as substantial productivity increases, reduced maintenance (and cost). The
validated case study we will develop in the project will clearly demonstrate
the technical and commercial advantages of this technology.

It is expected that the project will
generate up to €100 million business growth for its SMEs within a 5 year period
creating >100 jobs. All other markets for continuous lube oil cleaning will
also be exploited. The application of this technology to a wide range of
industrial and other sectors will represent a significant step-change in the
cost and performance of a range of sectors where the technology is applied.

They are looking for
EU SMEs to participate in sections:

  • company that designs, manufactures and sells filtering

  • company that designs, manufactures and sells accurate
    dosing / metering technologies.

  • company that designs, manufactures and sells accurate
    mixing technologies.

  • company that designs and integrates in-line measurement
    and control technologies for fluid flow applications.



What we can do for you










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