PhosLube – Base Oils Color Testing
Color testing is important, primarily for lubricants and base oils. However, determining color specifications is important for nearly all petroleum products. The color of a product is used for quality control purposes and is also a good indicator of the quality of the product. When color ranges are determined, end users are able to use that information to evaluate possible contamination and overall product effectiveness. Color determination is also very important when dealing with fuels. Oils that are rich in aromatics and olefins have more of a yellowish color when being compared to oils with higher parrafin properties. High levels or aromatics can lead to higher exhaust emissions and olefins contribute to exhaust containing butadiene, which is a known carcinogen. Fuels are often colored for tax purposes and/or safety purposes. Ash and other particles can cause engine parts to burn fuel less efficiently, leading to higher exhaust emissions. Base oils/lubricant color testing and color testing in general are important, but shouldn’t be determining factors when evaluating product quality, due to the fact that the color alone does not reflect it’s bulk composition.