, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 164–182 | Cite as

Isosteric design of friction-reduction and anti-wear lubricant additives with less sulfur content

  • Xinlei Gao
  • Denghui Liu
  • Ze Song
  • Kang Dai
Open Access
Research Article


To reduce harmful sulfur content in lubricant additives, making use of isosterism has been shown to be an effective strategy. When thiobenzothiazole compounds were used as templates, the exchange of sulfur atoms in the thiazole ring with oxygen atoms and NH groups produced twelve isosteres. Similarly, 2-benzothiazole- S-carboxylic acid esters were used as template molecules to produce six isosteres. About 30% of the isosteres exhibited a satisfactory deviation of ±5% relative to the template, ignoring the specific changes in the base oils, the differences in molecular structure, and the friction or wear properties. The template molecules and isosteres in triisodecyl trimellitate exhibited better tribological properties than in trimethylolpropane trioleate or bis(2- ethylhexyl) adipate. Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA)- and comparative molecular similarity index analysis (CoMSIA)-quantitative structure tribo-ability relationship (QSTR) models were employed to study the correlation of molecular structures between the base oils and additives. The models indicate that the higher the structural similarities of the base oils and additives are, the more synergetic the molecular force fields of the lubricating system are; the molecular force fields creating synergistic effects will improve tribological performance.


isosterism friction-reduction and anti-wear lubricant additives comparative molecular field analysis comparative molecular similarity index analysis quantitative structure tribo-ability relationship less sulfur content 



This project is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51675395).


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Open Access: The articles published in this journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringWuhan Polytechnic UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.College of PharmacySouth-Central University for NationalitiesWuhanChina

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