API Base Oil Categories

The majority of every lubricant used in plants today started off as just a simple base oil. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has categorized base oils into five different categories (API 1509, Appendix E). Before all the additives are added to the mixture, lubricating oils begin as one or more of these five API groups. The first three groups are refined from petroleum crude oil. Group IV base oils are full synthetic (polyalphaolefin) oils. Group V is for all other base oils not included in Groups I through IV.

Check out this educational article to learn more about the five base oil categories:


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