Base oil is produced by means of refining crude oil. This means that the crude oil is heated in order that various distillates can be separated from one another. During the heating process, light and heavy hydrocarbons are separated – the light ones can be refined to make petrol and other fuels, while the heavier ones are suitable for bitumen and base oils.
There are large numbers of crude oils all around the world that are used to produce base oils. The most common one is a type of paraffinic crude oil, although there are also naphthenic crude oils that create products with better solubility and very good properties at low temperatures.
Chemical substances – additives – are added to the base oil in order to meet the quality requirements for the end products in terms of, for example, friction and cleaning properties. Certain types of motor oils contain more than twenty per cent additives