Story of Engine Oil Development

Story of Lubricant Development

Lubricant Tailored to Future Generations Through Care for Environmental Performance

Kazuhiro Yagishita has been pursing non-degradable lubricant which will never pollute the environment. The lily, which symbolizes "cleanness" in the language of flowers, may be the perfect flower for Kazuhiro Yagishita.


A wide-range of oil is indispensable to automobiles. Lubricant is one type of oil that largely affects the performance of vehicles based on its quality. Kazuhiro Yagishita is in charge of engine oil development close to all of us in the lubricant sector. Kazuhiro always takes into account the global environment as part of the quality of engine oil.

What does research into oil for transportation entail?

Cars and other types of vehicles use a variety of oils in addition to the gasoline used as fuel. I'm involved in the research and development of these types of engine oils. Automotive engines are driven by either a piston or crankshaft system, or in other words, an interaction of components that causes friction. The purpose of engine oil is to reduce this friction. Essential engine performance is furthered by reducing the friction caused through the interaction of these components.

The oil is changed at gas stations and other service stations, isn't it?

I'm sure everyone who drives has had their engine oil changed at a gas station or dealership. There are many different engine oils when the oil is changed, but greater engine performance is obtained the more high-quality engine oil can reduce friction. At the same time, we take into account the aspects of environmental performance.

Which means?

First, the reduction of friction improves fuel efficiency. Oil to lubricate is also used between components and parts causing friction. This results in small impurities if the oil is used for a long period of time. This normally degrades the quality of the oil and is the reason for oil changes, but we are pursing an engine oil without any degradation. Most drivers change their engine oil in sixth month or 10,000 kilometer intervals today. Our development aims to expand this interval. If we succeed, the amount of waste from spent engine oil will first decrease. At the same time, the engine will also become less worn, increasing the lifespan of the vehicle. The engine oil that we developed through this research has expanded oil changes to a two-year or 30,000 kilometer interval. I want to develop engine oil that has an even greater lifespan than the engine oil we have developed this time as our next goal.

Please tell us about your future goal.

I hope to develop an engine oil that does not degrade to also protect the environment from a perspective of engine oil as a global resource. I want to pass down a beautiful Earth and environment to our children through this research. As I work in this field, I have come to feel large or small success is not important as a researcher. I believe it is more important to find clear answers to the challenges and questions that arise. This is the kind of researcher I want to continue to be. For example, Researchers who have won the Ig Nobel Prize are the ideal I strive for (laughing).


Central Technical Research Laboratory

Kazuhiro Yagishita