Most conventional (mineral) oil is made from what api group?

Most conventional (mineral) oil is made from what api group?

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Most conventional (mineral) oil is made from what API group? This article will delve into the topic of conventional mineral oil and its API group classification. Understanding the API group of mineral oil is essential for various industries, including automotive, manufacturing, and lubrication.

What is API Group?

API stands for the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade association that sets standards for the production and distribution of petroleum and petroleum products. The API has established a classification system known as API Group for different types of mineral oils based on their performance characteristics.

API Group Classification

The API Group classification categorizes mineral oils into five groups: Group I, Group II, Group III, Group IV, and Group V. Each group represents a different level of refining and performance characteristics.

Group I: Group I mineral oils are the least refined and have the lowest performance characteristics. They are typically produced from crude oil through a solvent refining process. Group I oils contain significant amounts of impurities and have limited viscosity index (VI) range, which affects their ability to perform under extreme conditions.

Group II: Group II mineral oils are more refined than Group I oils. They undergo a hydrocracking process that removes impurities and improves their performance characteristics. Group II oils have a higher VI range and offer better oxidation stability and thermal stability compared to Group I oils.

Group III: Group III mineral oils are even more refined than Group II oils. They undergo further hydrocracking and purification processes, resulting in oils with superior performance characteristics. Group III oils have a high VI range, excellent oxidation stability, and improved resistance to thermal breakdown. They are often considered as synthetic oils due to their enhanced properties.

Group IV: Group IV mineral oils are fully synthetic oils known as polyalphaolefins (PAO). They are chemically engineered using a process called polymerization of alpha-olefins. Group IV oils offer exceptional performance characteristics, including high VI range, excellent oxidative stability, thermal stability, and low volatility. They are commonly used in high-performance applications.

Group V: Group V mineral oils include all other base oils that do not fall into the previous four groups. This category encompasses a wide range of specialty oils, such as esters, polyalkylene glycols (PAGs), and other synthetic oils. Group V oils are often used in specific applications that require unique properties, such as biodegradability or extreme temperature resistance.

Application of API Group Classification

The API Group classification is crucial for various industries. In the automotive sector, it helps determine the appropriate motor oil for different engine types. Manufacturers specify the required API Group for motor oils to ensure optimal engine performance and longevity.

In the manufacturing industry, the API Group classification helps in selecting the right lubricants for machinery and equipment. Different applications may require oils with specific performance characteristics, such as high-temperature resistance or low friction.


In conclusion, most conventional (mineral) oil is classified into one of the five API groups: Group I, Group II, Group III, Group IV, or Group V. The API Group classification system provides a standardized way to categorize mineral oils based on their refining level and performance characteristics. Understanding the API Group of mineral oil is essential for selecting the appropriate oil for various applications, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.


– American Petroleum Institute:
– Lubricants Knowledge Hub:
– Machinery Lubrication:

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