Deadline: 2019-05-01 Award: $10,000 Open to: Everyone*
Lubricating oils are important for the automotive industry due to their capabilities in reducing friction between surfaces and minimizing wear. However, the conditions during engine operation are favourable to oxidation and can result in the degradation of lubricating oils and shorten their useful life. This process is associated with the formation of nitrate esters in the lubricant, which then decompose into free radicals that initiate oxidation. Thus, the Seeker is looking for compounds that can decompose or inactivate nitrate esters without producing free radicals and/or unstable products, hence breaking the observed link between nitration and oxidation.