Soot is the extremely hard and abrasive carbon byproduct of an inefficient combustion of the fuel and air in an engine's combustion chamber, explains Kevin Kroger, president and COO of Puradyn Filter Technologies, a company which designs, manufactures and markets the puraDYN Bypass Oil Filtration System (www.puradyn.com). High soot in the engine oil creates a number of consequences.
The most significant is the severe wear on the engine components leading to premature repairs and a complete overhaul, he says. Other consequences are:
- Plugged oil galleys, leading to engine failures.
- Increasing the viscosity levels in the oil to the point the oil loses its lubrication capabilities.
- Increases in sump temperatures which lead to oil oxidation - the primary mechanism of lubricant degradation.
What can be done to help mitigate soot-related wear?
Kroger says the most effective method to mitigate soot-related wear is the utilization of a high-efficiency bypass filtration system to remove harmful soot components before they can cause damage. Another method is an oversaturation of dispersants in the oil to keep the soot particles smaller.
However, he warns that oversaturation of dispersants can lead to other harmful consequences.
For example, once the dispersants are saturated with soot particles, they could lose their effectiveness, observes Kroger. Once that happens, the soot suddenly overpowers the oil and coagulates, creating larger particles and causing severe engine damage.