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COS Blog

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History: Synthetics Edition

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

We've all heard of synthetic oils, but do you know where they came from? Or why we use them? In this installment of our History Blogs, we're giving you the low-down on all things man-made (oils, that is).


Synthetic oils are just lubricants made of chemical compounds that are artificially made (or synthesized).There are two main types of synthetic oils widely used today: Poly-alpha-olefin oils (PAOs) and Esters. PAOs are polymers that are made by polymerizing an alpha-olefin (an alkene that has a carbon-carbon double bond between the #1 and #2 carbons in the molecule). And esters are synthetic chemical compounds with the carbonyl adjacent to an ether linkage.1


The very first synthetic oil was actually made during WWII in Germany because the allied bombings destroyed most refineries and cut oil supplies off. The first synthetic oil to be API certified is said to be Amsol, in 1972. And finally, the first large-scale, commercially available synthetic was Mobil 1, which actually came on the market for commercial use in 1976.


Since the '70's, synthetic oils have come a long way--Pennzoil just released their Platinum synthetic oil with Pure Plus technology, made from natural gas instead of crude oil (Learn more here.), and Castrol's Edge Extended Performance guarantees a whopping 15,000 miles between oil changes (Learn more here.)


Whatever your motor oil needs are, COS is equipped to help. To find out what synthetic oil is best for your car, call 1-800-883-8081 to speak with our experts.


1. SynLube Incorporated. [1] All About Synthetic Oil


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