Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Soot-in-Oil Diagnostics

Soot-in-Oil Workshop

The NMRC played host to a specialist industrial workshop on soot-in-oil diagnostics on the 29th of March. The University of Nottingham is proud to boast some of the foremost expertise in soot particulate characterisation, most demonstrably in the form of Professor Antonino La Rocca and the Engine Research Group within the Faculty of Engineering.

The capability to characterise soot particles extracted from engine systems is of great importance to the automotive and lubricant industry. This is due to the fact that a build-up of soot in engine oil can significantly reduce performance. Oil thickening increases viscosity, raising CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Equally, increased engine wear occurs as anti-wear additive effectiveness is reduced and  engine lifespan are reduced as a consequence. The degree of impact of the soot particulates is known to depend upon the morphological characteristics of the soot particles and their agglomerates.

Professor La Rocca's Soot Diagnostic Suite utilises a proprietary soot particle extraction process followed by a combination of Raman spectroscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to provide novel cutting edge morphological characterisation. Importantly the group has also made great strides in the exciting development of tomographic 3D TEM imaging of soot particulates to circumvent the limitations of 2D analysis.  As such the combination of techniques can provide a wealth of knowledge on the genesis of soot particles from a myriad of engine systems and conditions. The workshop was therefore an industry focussed event (kindly funded as part of an EPSRC impact accelerator award) dedicated to showcasing the virtues of applying such a suite of analyses to the current engineering paradigm. 

With a range of speakers covering the individual components, and susbsequent open floor discussions / meetings the event was a big success and well received by all. The NMRC is proud to be home to the TEM, Raman and NTA facilities used as part of the Soot Diagnostic Suite and for further information or enquires people are encouraged to either contact Professor La Rocca, or the NMRC directly.


Posted on Thursday 30th March 2017

Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Cripps South building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 6340
email: nmrcenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk