Compressors are among the most cost-intensive and critical elements in industrial plants and require high levels of maintenance attention. Unanticipated downtime for onsite compressors can result in expensive repairs and a loss of productivity, thereby reducing profits.
Fortunately, with the correct specialty gas compressor lubricants in play, not only can companies reduce mechanical wear and extend the lifespan of individual components, but they can also improve the longevity of service for machines on site as a whole. As a result, selecting the correct gas compressor lubricant can boost a company’s operational reliability as well as its profitability.
Today, leading lubrication manufacturers have devised an extensive variety of specialty gas compressor lubricants formulated to meet exacting specification. Offering improved technical experiences, these built-for-purpose solutions are designed to operate under intense operating conditions and rates. Matching the ideal lubricant with the correct application is vital for operational success. Every gas compressor application will have its own special set of issues, requirements, and operating parameters. As a result, lubricant makers offer a diverse range of base stocks that are perfectly suited to answer the needs the various systems in use today in the oil and gas industry.
Gas compressor lubricants for light through to heavy-medium hydrocarbon gas applications
These synthetic gas compressor lubricants, designed specifically for the oil and gas industry, are suitable for multiple applications where light to heavy-medium hydrocarbon gases are involved. They can be used to lubricate both reciprocating and rotary screw compressors being used in natural gas service. They offer several operational benefits to users and equipment. These include excellent anti-corrosion attributes and protection from hydrogen sulphide corrosion.
Gas compressor lubricants for heavy-medium through to heavy hydrocarbon gas applications
Designed for application that include heavy-medium to heavy hydrocarbon gases, these compressor oils are typically formulated using polyalkylene glycols and a special additive package. In many applications where high-pressure piston compressors are used for the hydrocarbon process, natural gas or mineral oils can easily be diluted by or absorbed into the gas stream. However, these specialist compressor lubricants are designed to be exceptionally resistant to such issues.
These oils have an extremely high viscosity index, which ensures effective lubrication at a wide range of operating temperatures for screw-type, rotary vane, and piston compressors for both process and natural gas applications. In comparison to mineral oils, these synthetic solutions are highly resistant to both absorption and dilution by hydrocarbon gases.
Gas compressor lubricants for heavy hydrocarbon gas applications
These compressor oils are also engineered using polyalkylene glycols, as well as special additives and are specifically suited to operations involving heavy hydrocarbon gas. As mentioned, with high-pressure piston compressors used in both natural gas and hydrocarbon process gas operations, the gas stream can dilute or absorb natural base lubricants like mineral oil. However, polyalkylene glycols are synthetic solutions that are unaffected in such scenarios, boosting operational efficiency. They typically have an exceptionally high viscosity index (VI) so they can continue to operate effectively at an extensive range of temperatures, and they are suited for use with rotary vane, screw-type and piston compressors.
What to look for when buying a specialty gas compressor lubrication solution?
Specialty gas compressors encompass a diverse range of applications, as a result, determining the right lubricant is not always a simple process. However, the first area to examine is always gas composition.
A prime concern for hydrocarbon gas application is always dilution, as this factor can impact viscosity. Dilution rates vary based on gas stream, pressure and temperature, which can make the selection process tricky. Lubrication manufacturers often use cutting-edge technology to estimate expected gas dilution to help narrow down lubricant option during selection, and to give an approximation of the working viscosity.
Gas compositions can vary greatly depending on location and application, but some common components of hydrocarbon gas include ethane, propylene, water, methane, hydrogen, helium and carbon dioxide.
Gases involved in process gas applications can be divided into two categories – reactive and inert gases. However, in both cases, the key concern is never with hydrocarbon dilution, but instead with the chemical reactivity between the gas and the lubricant.
Take advantage of the latest synthetic gas compressor lubricants available
Specialty gas compressor lubricants can offer a raft of operational benefits. The reduced friction they provide can lead to enhanced lubrication, with improved minimum lubricant consumption. As they offer optimum viscosity at every stage (including cold starts) they also eliminate flow issues when operating in severe weather conditions. Furthermore, they are designed to be resistant to gas dilution, mitigating downstream issues.
Selecting the right lubricant for your compressor is essential to keep it running at its optimum and over an extended term without unwanted downtime. The best practice when selecting a lubricant for your compressor is to consult your original equipment manufacturer recommendation.
To access high-quality speciality gas compressor lubricants from dependable brands such as CPI Fluid Engineering, or for advice on a solution for your onsite equipment, reach out to our team here at Oil Store today.