resources - FAQ on lubricants

Base Oils

1. What do you mean by hydrocracked base oils ?

Hydro cracking is a refining process that uses catalyst and hydrogen at high pressure to make high-quality lubricant base oils. Hydro cracking is used to improve VI (Viscosity Index) and remove impurities and thereby improving on the performance characteristics of lubricants.

2. What do Group I, II, and III mean, and why Group II +and Group III are being used?

Groups I, II, and III are broad categories of base stocks developed by the American Petroleum Institute for the purpose of creating guidelines for licensing engine oils. Typically, solvent-refined base oils fall into Group I, while hydroprocessed base stocks fall into Group II. Unconventional Base Oils (UCBOs) or Very-High VI stocks are normally categorized as Group III.

Group II+, though not an official API designation is a term used increasingly to describe Group II stocks of higher VI (110-119) and lower volatility than typical group II stocks.

Group I oils contain high levels of sulfur and aromatics, which are compounds that can diminish performance. Group II & III oils have lower levels of these impurities, which result in enhanced oxidation performance for fully-formulated lubricants. Raj Petro’s Group II and III base oils have a unique low-wax composition, which delivers better low-temperature performance compared to many other base oils.
Due to their high level of purity, Raj Petro’s Group II & III base oils provide additional benefits in many Automotive & Industrial applications.

What's so good about all-hydroprocessed base stocks?
Because all-hydroprocessed Group II+& III stocks are manufactured with no solvent refining steps, when it comes to purity, they far surpass Group 1 base oils made in some solvent processing plants. In fact, they contain the lowest levels of impurities currently available in mineral-based a oil, which, in turn, gives them a significant performance advantage.


Food Grade Lubricants ( Click to Expand )

Q. What is the effect of Mineral oil hydrocarbons in Processed Foods?
Mineral oils are comprised of various hydrocarbons. If these are aliphatic, i.e. come in the form of saturated linear and cyclic (non-aromatic) hydrocarbons with mostly 16 – 25 carbon atoms, these are referred to as “mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons” (MOSH). Aromatic, i.e. unsaturated hydrocarbons consist of mostly alkylated polycyclic compounds (usually with 1 – 4 aromatic rings) and are referred to as “mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons" (MOAH). 

Q. How does mineral oil get into food packaging?
Mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons are predominately used as solvents. They are contained in heating oils, lubricants and motor fuels, but also in many printing inks as used for newspapers, for example. When producing cardboard boxes from recycled recovered paper, mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons get into the food packaging. It is currently not possible to eliminate a sufficient quantity of these substances during the recycling process. Mineral oils may also be found in inks and colours used for printing food packaging. Contamination from packed raw materials (e.g. printed jute bags) cannot be ruled out either. With mainly dry food with a large surface area being packed in cardboard boxes, the volatile mineral oils find their way into the food by gas phase diffusion. 

Q. What effects do mineral oils have on human health?
Mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) are absorbed by the body and stored in various organs. Animal testing has shown that this kind of mineral oil mixtures is deposited in the body and may cause damage to the liver and the lymph nodes. The exact composition of the mixtures in printer’s ink, especially of the fraction that contains aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), is not known.

There is currently no toxicological data for the evaluation and derivation of limit values for MOAH. The opinion of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), stating the potentially carcinogenic effect of the aromatic hydrocarbon fraction, was confirmed this year by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). For this reason no detectable migration of MOAH to food should be allowed to take place.

The data required for the evaluation of MOSH in the molecular weight range after migration from recycled cardboard is currently insufficient. The joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has therefore withdrawn the temporary ADI (acceptable daily intake) this year. An ADI value specifies the amount of a substance a person can ingest each day for their entire life without needing to expect a hazard to health. The BfR has concluded a guide value for migration to foodstuffs of 12 mg/kg for MOSH with hydrocarbon chain lengths of C10 to C16. Currently a guide value for MOSH up to C20 is being discussed. There is evidence that MOSH with larger chain lengths is deposited in the human body. Migration of these substances should therefore be minimised as much as technically possible.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has estimated that we ingest between 0.03 and 0.3 mg saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) per kilogram of body weight with our daily food, children may ingest even more. The intake of aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) is estimated by the EFSA to be around 20% of the values for MOSH, i.e. between 0.005 and 0.06 mg per kilogram of body weight. For a child weighing 10 kg this implies a daily intake of up to 3 mg MOSH and 0.6 mg MOAH. 

Q. What draft ordinances have been passed on mineral oils and printing inks?
The German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection has presented two draft ordinances aiming at reducing the migration of mineral oil residues from recycled packagings to foodstuffs.

The most recent draft for a so-called mineral oil ordinance (22nd ordinance amending the food contact material regulation) of 24 July 2014 intends to limit the concentration of MOSH and MOAH in food contact materials that are made from recycled paper. According to this, they may only be put on the market if they do not exceed the maximum levels of 24 mg of MOSH and 6 mg of MOAH per kg of paper, paperboard or cardboard. The carbon range these concentrations refer to depends on the respective intended use. In food contact materials used for storing dry and non-greasy foods at room temperature or below they would apply to a carbon range of C16 to C25, and to a range of C16 to C35 in all other food contact materials.

Furthermore, the draft specifies that food contact materials exceeding the stated maximum levels may still be marketed if the amount transferred to the food is no more than 2 mg of MOSH and no more than 0.5 mg of MOAH per kilogram of food. The party marketing the food contact materials must in this case provide documents that explain how these requirements are met. This may be done by: stating the conditions and results of any migration tests and calculations performed, including model calculations, describing other analyses performed, or any other methods that prove conformity. These also include documentation proving that the respective food contact material contains a functional barrier.

Mineral oils can also be transferred to food through direct printing on the packaging. To avoid this, the ministry is working on a second draft ordinance banning the use of printing inks containing mineral oils on food packagings: the so-called printing ink ordinance (21st ordinance amending the food contact material regulation).

Note: The regulations presented in the above paragraphs are drafts that currently have no official regulatory status. 

Q. How do we analyze of MOSH and MOAH?
In the RPSPL laboratory the hydrocarbon fractions are separated by HPLC couple with GC. Attention should be paid to the fact that inappropriate sampling or sample containers as well as transport can lead to false-positive results. The sampling point in the product (inner or outer layers) is also important. Specific purification steps performed can eliminate analytical misinterpretations. The samples are evaluated using characterized standards. The detection limit for MOSH and MOAH is 0.15 mg/kg, respectively, the quantification limit is 0.5-0.6 mg/kg depending on the sample material.

Q. What are ONWO Food Grade Lubricants?
ONWO food-grade lubricants are formulated as per FDA regulations (with approved ingredients & within the permissible levels set by NSF) , that even if they may incidentally come into contact with food items due to leaks, spillages or faults in equipment it won’t contaminate the food. All lubricants used above the food line in food processing and packaging plants must be food grade. 

Q. When is a lubricant certified as food grade?
A lubricant qualifies as food grade when, in the event of contamination due to lubricant is present not more than (10ppm) 10 mg per kg of the foodstuff manufactured and must not cause any physiological hazard or affect the food's odour and taste in any way. Food-grade lubricants are special blends of ultra pure base fluids and additives, and should conform to the erstwhile US FDA standards and registered by NSF International in the H1 category.

Q. How safe are ONWO Food Grade Lubricants in food production?
All products in the ONWO Food Grade range comply with stringent international standards for food grade lubricants handed down by the NSF International (H1). They are produced in line with the Good Manufacturing Practice and as part of ISO 9001.

Q. What are the regulatory standards for food lubricants?
In the absence of any international system to regulate food grade lubricants, the industry has adopted the strict requirements of the US system worldwide as international best practice. 

Q. What is the US system that ONWO Food Grade Lubricants comply?
All products in the ONWO Food Grade range comply with the NSF International (H1), the standard which has replaced previous USDA systems for lubricants where incidental contact with food is likely. ONWO Food Grade products also comply with the technical qualifications published in the Federal Register, FDA 21 CFR 178.3570, as well as with FDA standards for raw materials used in food grade products (such as lubricants) within the United States, including imports and exports. In addition, ONWO Food Grade products are manufactured according to the Good Manufacturing Practice and with ISO 9001-2008 quality systems. 

Q. Does ONWO Food Grade Lubricants have USDA H1 approval?
USDA is now a defunct body and there is no obligation for lubricant manufacturers to adhere to the now-defunct USDA H1 rules, nor does the USDA endorse or recognise any past authorizations for food-grade lubricants.

Q. What has replaced USDA ( US Department of Agriculture) H1 approval?
NSF (National Sanitary Foundation) International took on the procedures and systems of the USDA H1. It continues to manage the USDA List, which is now known as the NSF White Book of Proprietary Substances and Nonfood Compounds. NSF registration procedures are identical to the former USDA rules, including the classification H1 and H2 products.

Q. On what basis is NSF International H1 approval given ?
Lubricants are made only from components that have been evaluated and approved by the US FDA and declared safe for use in food processing preparations. The maximum concentration of a lubricant allowed in food is 10ppm. Manufacturers of food grade lubricants described by FDA regulations must also follow Good Manufacturing Practice as a specific quality system.

Q. Are ONWO Food Safe products NSF Approved?
Yes, ONWO has 20 products in the NSF food grade approved List .Refer

Q. What is the HACCP system of regulatory standards?
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (HACCP) dates back to the 1960s, when it was developed by the American Space Agency, NASA, in order to make risk-free food for astronauts. NASA identified points where contamination is likely to occur so that appropriate process controls could be implemented during production. That system is now federally mandated in the USA for use as a critical contamination prevention program under the Food Safety Initiative in seafood, meat and poultry processing facilities. The EU also employs the HACCP system to regulate all EU companies involved in handling foodstuffs. In India although HACCP system is not mandatory, good manufacturing units have started adopting to HACCP systems.

Q. What is the legislation on the longevity of food-grade lubricants?
It should be noted that neither the FDA, NSF International nor the EU has made any statements with respect to food-grade lubricants in use. ONWO recommends that, in the absence of relevant local legislation, the maximum amount of contamination of food itself by a food grade lubricant should be 10 ppm (10 mg/kg) – the same limit set by the FDA for all non-food compounds, regardless of age. At concentrations below this limit ONWO believes that ONWO Food Grade Lubricants should not impart undesirable taste, odour or colour to food, nor should they cause adverse health effects.


Grease ( Click to Expand )

Q.What is penetration of grease?
Penetration of grease is the relative thickness of the grease also known as consistency of the grease.

Q. How much grease should be used in a bearing during assembly?
It is recommended to only fill half of the free space of an antifriction bearing. As an exception, for low speed and highly dust prone application, one may fill upto 100% free space in the bearing.
Please note that over - filling of the bearing leads to more failure of the bearings as compared to under - filling of the bearings.

Q. The viscosity of the base oil available from your end is reported at 40ºC and 100ºC. How do we know the base oil viscosity of the grease at our application operating temperature?
The viscosity at various temperatures can be calculated using the ASTM Standard Viscosity - Temperature Chart (ASTM D341-03). Also one may use various formulas available on the internet to calculate the viscosity at a particular temperature provided you know either the viscosity at a particular temperature and viscosity index or viscosity at a any temperature.

Q. How do I determine the service temperature range of grease?
The upper service temperature is determined by ascertaining the evaporation loss and the thermal stability of the base oil, dropping point of the grease and the maximum serviceable temperature of the additives incorporated. The lower service temperature is ascertained by testing the low temperature torque of the grease and pour point of the base fluid. The temperature range indicated in the product bulletin is only meant to be an indicator for the actual use. The real temperature range should be determined by considering other factors like operating condition, atmosphere and type of application.

Q. The colour of the grease has changed within short duration of putting it in application. Should I throw away the grease as the quality does not seem to be OK?
NO. There are few additives incorporated in few types of grease that change the colour due to change in the surface chemistry immediately (or within short duration) on coming in contact with rotating surfaces (dynamic load condition). This change is colour is within the known behaviour of the grease and does not affect the performance of the grease adversely (or in any other manner).

You may continue to use the grease till its intended life. (You may contact us for any further clarification you require w.r.t. a particular product of ONWO.)

Q. Is it common to observe oil separation in greases?
"Bleeding" or Oil separation is a naturally occurring phenomenon and should not be construed as a problem. The storage temperature in excess of 45 deg C accelerates oil separation. The excess oil can be safely stirred back into the grease within the container. It has also been observed that the higher penetration greases (Lower Consistency) tend to have more oil bleeding as compared to thicker greases.

Q. The colour of grease has become darker as compared to when i first opened the container. Should i throw away the grease?
No. It is perfectly alright to use the grease.
Few greases (and oils) contain additives that darken by exposure to sunlight, air, temperature. The colour would usually change to slightly darker shade (darker brown in most cases). Sufficient care has been taken to ensure that this change in colour has no effect on the performance of the product. The colour of the grease also depends on the colour of the heavier base oils used.


Lubricants ( Click to Expand )

Q.What is Viscosity of Oil?
Viscosity of oil is a relative thickness that determines the flowability of the oil.

Q. What is Flash Point of Oil?
Flash Point of oil is the temperature at which the oil starts generating enough vapors to ignite the oil in presence of an external source.

Q. The colour of the oil has changed within short duration of putting it in application. Should I throw away the oil as the quality does not seem to be OK?
NO. There are few additives incorporated in few types of oils (more common in case of gear oils) that change the colour due to change in the surface chemistry immediately (or within short duration) on coming in contact with rotating surfaces (dynamic load condition). This change is colour is within the known behaviour of the oil and does not affect the performance of the oil adversely (or in any other manner).
In the case of engine oils, it turns dark on usage due to the detergency characteristics of the oil .
You may continue to use the oil till its intended life. (You may contact us for any further clarification)

Q. What is the best place to draw sample of oil for further testing and analysis?
The best place to draw a sample of oil is from the downstream of an any application. Ideally one should draw as many samples as possible so as to get the most accurate analysis done. e.g. For large lubricating or gear oil systems, draw the sample from the oil in circulation and from the bottom of the sump / reservoir. In hydraulic systems, draw a sample from the header tank, downstream of filters etc.


Storage & Handling of Lubricants & Greases ( Click to Expand )

Q.What are the factors that affect storage of Lubricants?
The storage environment greatly affects the shelf life of lubricants and greases. Some factors, which should be monitored, are:

Temperature: both extremes of temperature (greater than 45°C) and extreme cold (less than –20°C) can affect lubricant stability. Heat increases the rate of oil oxidation, which may lead to formation of deposits and viscosity increase. Cold can result in wax and possible sediment formation. In addition, alternating exposure to heat and cold may result in air being drawn into drums, which may result in moisture contamination. A temperature range of –20°C to 45°C is acceptable for storage of most lubricating oils and greases. Ideally the storage temperature range should be from 0°C to 25°C.

Light: light may change the color and appearance of lubricants. Lubricants should be kept in their original metal or plastic containers. Lubricants should be preferably stored indoors are under a shed.

Water: water may react with some lubricant additives (as most additives are oil soluble), sometimes forming insoluble matter. Water can also promote microbial growth at the oil/water interface. Lubricants should be stored in a dry location, preferably indoors.

Particulate Contamination: drums and pails should not be stored in areas where there is a high level of airborne particles. This is especially important when a partially used container is stored. Always store the opened containers in closed condition.

Atmospheric Contamination: oxygen and carbon dioxide can react with lubricants and affect their viscosity and consistency. Keeping lubricant containers sealed until the product is needed is the best protection. 

Q. What are the recommended storage conditions and practices for Lubricating Oils and Greases?
Store lubricating oils and greases in a cool dry indoor area where airborne particles are at a minimum. Indoor storage also prevents deterioration of label and container from weathering. The ideal storage temperature range is from 19°C to 25°C.

If drums must be stored outside, use plastic covers or tip oil drums to direct water and contamination away from the bungs. Always store greases upright to prevent oil separation. When necessary, bring grease to satisfactory dispensing temperature just prior to use. Follow first in first out policy (FIFO). Check the container fill date and use the oldest container first .Keep containers tightly covered or closed to avoid contamination. Wipe off the tops and edges of containers before opening to avoid contamination. Use clean tools and equipment when pumping or handling lubricants and greases.

Q. What is the Shelf Life of a Lubricant?
Shelf life of a lubricant is the usable life of the grease in unpacked condition to derive optimum performance. The shelf life depends on the unique properties of various raw materials used, their effect with each other (and the packing material) over a period of time etc.

The shelf life of most ONWO greases is 3 years from the date of manufacturing provided the greases are packed in the original untampered containers.

For more information contact :,

High Performance Lubricants ( Click to Expand )

Q.1. What are termed as “High Performance Lubricants “? Why?
Conventional lubricants normally worked satisfactorily for 80% of the applications. Whereas the remaining 20% required high performance lubricants to satisfy the need of lubrication under critical regimes. The need for high performance lubricants required for critical or aggressive working conditions can be termed as:

  • Temperature Extremes
  • High Speed
  • High Loading
  • Shock Loading
  • Dust and Dirty conditions
  • Wet and saturated conditions
  • Chemical environment
  • Acidic environment
  • Oxygen manufacturing environment
  • Environment friendly lubricants
  • Food Grade Lubricants

2. How does high performance lubricants meet the lubrications requirements? They are specially designed to overcome the limitations of the conventional lubricants by incorporating a suitable thickener / semi synthetic or synthetic base fluid with superior extreme pressure additives /tackifiers/solid lubricants etc.

3. What are the benefits that can be envisaged using “High Performance Lubricants”?

  • Extended Drain Intervals
  • Filled for life applications (for eg – Starter motors/ alternators /fans etc…)
  • Increased component life
  • Reduced inventory
  • Reduced operating cost
  • Increased productivity

4. How do you contact us for a free lube audit? Please contact us through our Email – for a free lubrication study to enjoy the benefits of our problem solvers for the critical Industry .

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Corporate Brochure
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Technical Literature
Product Flyer
Distributor Form
FAQ on Lubricants
NSF Listings / Certifcations
National Lubrication Grease Institute ,India Chapter
Society of Tribologists and lubircation Engineers,USA
Tribology society of India
LNG Publishing Company INC
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