What is a synthetic oil?

Synthetic oil contains artificially made chemical compounds and is sometimes, but not always, made with a mineral oil base. Synthetic lubricants are chemically modified and, because of this, contain fewer impurities than mineral oils.
You can learn more about how synthetic lubricants are made in our guide here.

What is a mineral based oil?

A mineral based oil is a type of refined petroleum oil, with unwanted hydrocarbons and natural contaminants removed during the refining process. Mineral oils are often used to make a thicker base for greases.

What are the advantages of synthetic oils?

Synthetic oils have a number of advantages for commercial and industrial usage.

They have a more uniform molecular structure as they are made from broken down and rebuilt petroleum molecules. These chemical modifications mean more even and regular machine lubrication.

Synthetic oils also contain fewer impurities and contaminants than mineral based oils. The reason for this is because mineral oils originate from natural sources, so contain contaminants like oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorus. Synthetic lubricants do not contain these impurities, preventing sludge, deposit formation, oxidation and degradation.

Using a synthetic lubricant also guarantees greater stability and durability, and the higher flashpoint in comparison to mineral oils leads to reduced flammability. The viscosity of synthetic oils also leads to greater resistance to temperature changes and so offers better protection for applications which require extremes in temperature.

Our case study on Lubron Ecotef, a synthetic lubricant, explores how we helped a client who required a suitable synthetic lubricant for marine environment applications.

What are the advantages of mineral oils?

Mineral oil lubricants are very versatile and generally less expensive than synthetic lubricants. They can also be more compatible with some seals.

Additives are often used in mineral lubricants and they offer better solubility with additives in comparison to synthetic lubricants, which work best without additives.

Which is best – synthetic or mineral based oils?

So, are synthetic or mineral based oils better lubricants? The answer is that it depends on your intended applications!

For usage in environments with extreme fluctuations in temperature, synthetic lubricants are ideal as these take much longer to degrade.

Our very own Lubron SX is a synthetic lubricant and is ideal for machinery lubrication, sliding doors, vehicle roller shutters, and more. You can find full technical specifications here.

Applications of synthetic and mineral lubricants

Synthetic and mineral oil-based lubricants work in a range of ways to support your equipment.

Both synthetic and mineral oil-based lubricants can:

  • Reduce friction

  • Protect against corrosion

  • Control temperature

  • Prevent contamination


At Eco-Point, we understand just how important it is to keep your machinery and business running smoothly, with minimal downtime. That’s why we stock a range of synthetic lubricants, including food safe lubricants and multi-purpose formulations. To find out more, please contact us on +44(0)14 9479 2803 or fill out a contact form with details of your enquiry and our team will be in touch!