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Substance added in small quantities to a petroleum product to increase its oxidation resistance, thereby lengthening its service or storage life; also called anti-oxidant. An oxidation inhibitor may work in one of these ways: (1) by combining with and modifying peroxides (initial oxidation products) to render them harmless, (2) by decomposing the peroxides, or (3) by rendering an oxidation catalyst inert.

Related Terms

DEPOSITS

Oil-insoluble materials that result from oxidation and decomposition of lube oil and contamination from external sources and engine blow-by. These can settle out on machine or engine parts. Examples are sludge, varnish, lacquer and carbon.

LACQUER

A deposit resulting from the oxidation and polymerization of fuels and lubricants when exposed to high temperatures. Similar to, but harder, than varnish.

OXIDATION

Occurs when oxygen attacks petroleum fluids. The process is accelerated by heat, light, metal catalysts and the presence of water, acids, or solid contaminants. It leads to increased viscosity and deposit formation.

VARNISH

When applied to lubrication, a thin, insoluble, nonwipeable film deposit occurring on interior parts, resulting from the oxidation and polymerization of fuels and lubricants. Can cause sticking and malfunction of close-clearance moving parts. Similar to, but softer, than lacquer.

THERMAL STABILITY

Ability of a fuel or lubricant to resist oxidation under high temperature operating conditions.

SYNTHETIC HYDROCARBON

Oil molecule with superior oxidation quality tailored primarily out of paraffinic materials.

INCOMPLETE COMBUSTION

The partial oxidation of the combustible constituents of a fuel.

OXIDATION

Chemical combination with oxygen.

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION

Ignition of combustible material following slow oxidation without the application of high temperature from an external source.

PERFECT OR STOICHIOMETRIC COMBUSTION

The complete oxidation of all the combustible constitutes of a fuel, utilizing all the oxygen supplied.
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