Oil Analysis Blog-

Results for tag "acid-number"

Know the Proper Base Number of Your Oil


“What base number should oil have?”

The base number (BN) is a property that is more associated with engine oils rather than industrial oils. It can be defined as the oil’s ability to neutralize acids that are produced during use. The higher the base number in the engine oil, the more acid it will be able to neutralize during use.

New engine oils usually have a range of 5 to 15 BN. As oil is used in service, it becomes contaminated with acids, causing the base number to drop over time. By using oil analysis for your engine oil, you will be able to track the BN of your oil and determine how much life is remaining. Once the base number drops below 3, this is considered too low and should trigger an oil change for your engine.

The most common reasons for a drop in the base number are related to low-quality fuel and oil oxidation. During combustion, a low-quality fuel with high sulfur content can produce sulfuric acid, which attacks the oil and causes a drop in the base number. Oil oxidation as a result of the engine overheating or an attempt to extend the oil drain interval is another reason you may see a drop in the BN.

The acid number (AN) is a property that is generally more associated with industrial oils than engine oils. It is the amount of acid and acid-like substances in the oil. As mentioned previously, oil oxidation is one of the main producers of acid.

As oil is used in service, acidic components are generated and build up in the lubricant, with the end result being an increase in the acid number. A high acid number represents the potential for corrosion, rust and oxidation. It can also be a signal to perform an oil change. Again, by using oil analysis, you will be able to track the AN of your oil and schedule oil changes.

You also will need to set a critical limit for when the acid number reaches a certain number in order to schedule an oil change. This critical limit will be dependent on the type of oil being used. Typically, for R&O or light-duty oils, a maximum acid number limit of 2 is appropriate. For anti-wear and extreme pressure (EP) oils, an AN limit of 4 is a good starting point.

This article was taken from Machinery Lubrication.

Are Your Engines NESHAP Compliant?



Click on the image to read the article

Click on the image to read the article


As part of an effort to reduce engine emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted new national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) in 2010.  The new regulations apply to existing stationary compression ignition (CI) and spark ignition (SI) reciprocating internal combustion engines at area and major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

This regulation, known as RICE NESHAP, NESHAP Subpart ZZZZ, Quad-Z, or RICE MACT, will require sources to achieve emission limits reflecting the application of the maximum achievable control technology (MACT), consistent with sections 112(d) of the Clean Air Act.

Under RICE NESHAP, facilities with stationary engines are required to meet stringent emissions standards, verify compliance, perform maintenance activities, and report their continued compliance to the EPA.  The process to achieving compliance will require the implementation of new processes, methods, and systems, each unique to the respective operator and unique operating conditions and locations.

With nearly 1.5 million stationary engines in the U.S. to be affected, there are lots of people searching for knowledge on the requirements of this new ruling.  However, as with any Federal regulations, the reading can be extensive, confusing and the process to achieving compliance quite intimidating.

To learn more about RICE NESHAP click on the magazine cover.

Understanding Oil Analysis: How It Can Improve Reliability of Wind Turbine Gearboxes

Click on the image to read the article

Click on the image to read the article


Reliability has been defined as the ability to rely on equipment to produce what it is scheduled to produce, when it is scheduled to produce it, for as long as it is scheduled to produce it with no interruptions. In the wind power industry, achieving reliability is simple in theory yet difficult to achieve.

Historically, wind turbine gearbox failures have plagued the industry. In order to improve reliability three major challenges must be met. First, a thorough understanding of gearbox loads is needed. Second, gearbox components must be properly designed and specified. Finally, lubricating oil in the gearbox must be kept cool, clean and dry and routinely analyzed to provide valuable information on the condition of the oil and gearbox.

This article published by Gear Technology and co-authored by Michael Barrett, TestOil and Justin Stover, C.C. Jensen, focuses on this third aspect of reliability; understanding lubrication, oil analysis and the vital role it plays in the life of the wind turbine gearbox.

Click on the magazine cover to read more.

How To Monitor Your Turbine Oil’s Health


Turbine oils, particularly those used in steam turbines, are expected to last 10 to 20 years. During this lifespan careful monitoring of both lube oil physical and chemical properties, together with common contaminants such as water and solid particles, is required and should be performed annually. This is true not just of in-service oils, but also for new oils, which must meet rigorous performance specifications prior to selection and use in a new application.

TestOil’s Annual Turbine Analysis Report is a comprehensive turbine test package that provides a detailed analysis of the health of your turbine oil and contains the following tests:

View a sample turbine report

View a sample turbine report

Understanding Your Test Results

Our Annual Turbine Analysis Report is a 9-page analysis summarizing each of the tests we perform and containing a detailed explanation of each test result. The report also contains a summary of finding, as well as recommended actions as identified by our analysts. Click on the report cover above to view a sample report.

To learn more about our Annual Turbine Oil Analysis Report, please contact:

Angela Ritchie
Phone: 216.251.2510