Polyalphaolefin (PAO) is manufactured through a synthetic chemical process that originates from ethylene.
Ethylene is produced by cracking either crude oil or natural gas. The direct feedstock (normal alpha olefin – NAO) is produced through the chain growth and displacement process for producing petrochemically pure alpha olefins. The PAOs are produced through synthesizing oligomers of either 1-decene or 1-dodecene. These oligomers are distilled and hydrogenated to yield specific molecular weight ranges that meet the viscosity grades that are desired. For example, the fraction that has predominantly the 1-decene trimer (C30 oligomer) has a 100°C viscosity of 4 cSt and is known as PAO 4.
Here’s an overview of our production process: