Dispersants are lubricant additives that help to prevent sludge, varnish and other deposits from forming on critical surfaces. Dispersants are primarily used in gasoline engine and heavy duty diesel engine oils, which account for 75 to 80% of their total use.
They’re also used in natural gas engine oils, aviation piston engine oils, automatic transmission fluids and some types of gear lubricants.
Emulsifiers enable two immiscible fluids to form a mixture called an emulsion. They work by reducing the surface tension of water to facilitate thorough mixing. Water and oil mixtures are often used as lubricants because they are low cost, easy to dispose of, and have fire retardant properties.
Emulsifiers are primarily used in metalworking, rock drill and hydraulic applications. They make emulsions stable over long periods of time, offer good lubricating properties, won’t attack seals and metals, and are easy to demulsify for disposal.