The reduction of friction and pumping losses in engines is important. Otherwise, the engine has to work that extra bit harder – up to 20 per cent of the total power produced can be wasted.
Researchers from Purdue University, Indiana, US have addressed the problem by adding tiny, and perfectly smooth, carbon spheres to motor oil. This can reduce friction and engine wear by up to 25 per cent.
This offers major benefits in reducing friction and thus improved fuel economy.
Motor oil containing three per cent of the tiny spheres by weight, each measuring between 100-500 nanometres in diameter, delivered a reduction in friction between 10 and 25 per cent.