Mineral oils are made by refining and distilling crude oil. There are two main types of mineral oils: naphthenic and paraffinic. They contain many additives and lose their lubricating properties rather quickly. These oils differ in structure of hydrocarbons which are included to composition of oils. Paraffinic base oils are considered to be the most suitable; they have better viscosity and temperature characteristics.
Hydrocracking is another option to improve mineral oil performance. Hydrocracking is "rectification" of hydrocarbons by rearranging the atoms and resulting in occurrence of isomers. The disadvantage of this method is that the isomerization is reverse, due to that hydrocracked oil has properties similar to those attributed to synthetic oils, yet it ages much earlier losing its chemical properties. The obvious advantage of all mineral oils is their price.
Synthetic oil is obtained through synthesis of certain chemical compounds, thus allowing to achieve desired performance properties for this product, such as the maximum thermal and chemical stability.