Visom and GTL Question

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Hey Guys, Recent post made me think of this...Wasnt Exxon Mobil Visom tech supposed to be a stop gap or something until they got GTL up and running? Did they give up on GTL or am I way off base. Any pros or cons to visom vs. GTL. IIRC weren't they basically ways to get PAO quality base stocks from GrIII bases...like a griii + or some such thing?
 
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Originally Posted by Doublehaul
Hey Guys, Recent post made me think of this...Wasnt Exxon Mobil Visom tech supposed to be a stop gap or something until they got GTL up and running? Did they give up on GTL or am I way off base. Any pros or cons to visom vs. GTL. IIRC weren't they basically ways to get PAO quality base stocks from GrIII bases...like a griii + or some such thing?
IIRC Visom was intended to be an alternative to PAO because Exxon lost a bunch of money when their PAO facility went offline for an extended period of time due to extensive damage from a hurricane.
 
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I think XOM put GTL on hold as of now. They are currently using their own Visom stock and buying GTL from Shell, who they jointly own Infineum with.
 
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Originally Posted by pschnahc
So 'Visom' is a brand name for a run-of-the-mill iso GrIII+ product? Such a cool brand name, I was really expecting more than that.
Visom was the leader in Gr3+
 
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I certainly wouldn't say its a run of the mill III+ in fact i dont know that any III+ is run of the mill. Its really interesting technology...the following is copied and pasted from another forum with an industry member "If you care about such stuff, there are four types of hydrocarbon molecules potentially in groups 1, 2, and 3 motor oil: aromatics, naphthenes, normal paraffins, and isoparaffins. Aromatics are ring compounds with double bonds and are very bad for motor oil. They are extracted from all groups of motor oils, even "dino oil", so don't worry about those. Normal paraffins are long chains with no branching, and are what makes up wax. They are also extracted from all groups of motor oils, even "dino oil", so don't worry about them either. That leaves naphthenes and isoparaffins. The best compounds are the isoparaffins, which are long chains with branches. Naphthenes are ring compounds like aromatics, but without double bonds like aromatics. They are nowhere near as bad as aromatics, but are not quite as good as isoparaffins. Groups 1 and 2 "dino oils" have relatively high naphthene content. Group 3 oils, most of which are made by hydrocracking, are much lower in naphthene content, but still have a non-trivial amount of remaining naphthenes. The advantage of the group 4, PAO oils is that they are built up from ground level, so are branched chains with zero naphthenes. But they are also very costly. Group 3 hydrocracked oils are far less costly than group 4, and are almost as good. Two new types of group 3+ oils are now appearing. They are ways to get rid of the remaining naphthenes without going to the very expensive group 4 PAO. The two new ways are gas to liquids (GTL) and Exxon's Visom. Exxon's patent position on GTL is not very good, and they developed Visom as an alternative. In Visom, they take wax, which are straight chain normal paraffins, and introduce some branching by isomerization. In the GTL route, you are building up chains with varying degrees of branching from natural gas. I will confess that being retired for two years, I do not have direct knowledge on how the resulting isoparaffins from either Visom or GTL compare to group 4 PAO. They are probably very close to equivalent, because they all have zero naphthenes. The key to remaining differences is the exact degree of chain branching in the three methods, and I do not know that information. However, by the time you get to zero naphthenes, quality differences among Visom, GTL, and PAO are likely to be tiny. Bottom line is that as was stated in the last lengthy oil thread, once you are into group 3, and especially group 3+ base stock, there's not much point in worrying any more about group 3 versus 4. Indeed, even the last holdout Amsoil no longer claims on their web site that they are pure group 4. We are to the point where as long as you are at least group 3, base stock is so good that remaining differences are going to be controlled by the additive packages. So you should base your choice of oils on who you think has more resources to develop the better additive package, and stop agonizing over group 3 versus 4."
 
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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Visom was the leader in Gr3+
What does 'the leader' objectively mean though? Thanks doublehaul for the excerpt. What I get from it is more of a performance comparison between ISO GrIIIs and PAOs for the purposes of economical interchangeability. GrIII is 'run-of-the-mill', or should I say 'hardly unique', in that everyone's got one- with more relevant (less pretentious?) brand names like "ISO-SYN", "Purebase" and "Yubase" rather than made up words like Clarium or Performatron. Dumb marketing triggers me banana
 
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Originally Posted by pschnahc
So 'Visom' is a brand name for a run-of-the-mill iso GrIII+ product? Such a cool brand name, I was really expecting more than that.
Visom is better than many PAO or Ester based oils. Their Mobil1 ESP Formula 5W30 was absolute leader in ACEA C3 category. I cannot remember any oil of any base stock having better Noack.
 
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Originally Posted by pschnahc
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Visom was the leader in Gr3+
What does 'the leader' objectively mean though? Thanks doublehaul for the excerpt. What I get from it is more of a performance comparison between ISO GrIIIs and PAOs for the purposes of economical interchangeability. GrIII is 'run-of-the-mill', or should I say 'hardly unique', in that everyone's got one- with more relevant (less pretentious?) brand names like "ISO-SYN", "Purebase" and "Yubase" rather than made up words like Clarium or Performatron. Dumb marketing triggers me banana
It means they were the first to market such a product back in the mid 2000's. Shell hadn't developed sufficient scale with regards to GTL. The biggest problem with base oil discussions is that people have a natural tendency to equate a higher number designation with being "better". It's utter nonsense.
 
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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Originally Posted by pschnahc
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Visom was the leader in Gr3+
What does 'the leader' objectively mean though? Thanks doublehaul for the excerpt. What I get from it is more of a performance comparison between ISO GrIIIs and PAOs for the purposes of economical interchangeability. GrIII is 'run-of-the-mill', or should I say 'hardly unique', in that everyone's got one- with more relevant (less pretentious?) brand names like "ISO-SYN", "Purebase" and "Yubase" rather than made up words like Clarium or Performatron. Dumb marketing triggers me banana
It means they were the first to market such a product back in the mid 2000's. Shell hadn't developed sufficient scale with regards to GTL. The biggest problem with base oil discussions is that people have a natural tendency to equate a higher number designation with being "better". It's utter nonsense.
Final product is the only thing that matters.
 
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I think you're correct. I know ive been guilty of it myself before really looking into things years back. My mind was once blown when i was told Mobil 1 wasn't synthetic...then i looked into the whole ordeal and realized conventional, blend, synthetic, was and is just a marketing mix of good better best like we see in everything else. My mind was again blown to find that true conventional oils dont really exist either. Everything is a blend of sorts...and ive learned a lot about specs...and what specs are important and why etc... Bottom line is oil is better now than it was 10 years ago and id bet it will be better in the coming 10 than it is now. We look at VOAs on this site...and i do it myself...and call certain oils weak or bland...knowing we cant really see anything in the tests they use. We then use a UOA to gauge engine wear again knowing its not a useful tool for that either. Some of the blandest looking oils turn in fantastic UOAs every time...Valvoline and most Warren Uni-Lube products come to mind.
 
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Product specifications, certifications and approvals are what matter. It is the only real-world method of determining oil quality, anything else is trying to read the tea leaves of a PDS or VOA/UOA or someone's useless interpretation of them. Which is more relevant, that an oil has proven to pass the requirements for Mercedes Benz approval 229.5 or someone on here proclaiming "fantastic oil, look at that slug of moly"? People grousing "we cant really see anything in the tests they use" is just silly since we know each and every approval or certification the oil obtains - unless of course the company tries to obfuscate those certs and approvals as some unscrupulous blenders do.
 
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