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Dr. Sirianni
In Conversation





This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.


Home > People > Dr. Sirianni > A Conversation with Dr. Sirianni
A Conversation with Dr. Sirianni
By Oliviana Mingarelli

Q: Can you tell me about your work with the National Research Council (NRC)?

At this point the war was just about over and there was one company interested in making lubricating greases which had no melting point. Lubricating grease was usually made with soaps and oil. They heat them up to a certain temperature and when they cool down the soap particles are very finely divided in the oil and they thicken that oil to a grease-like consistency and that’s what the grease is. However, they wanted greases that were stable and good for very high temperatures. Now, if you want high temperatures and you have an organic system like soap and oil, at a certain temperature they melt and become a liquid instead of a grease. It looks like gel. So actually what we started was small particle technology, it was a special study of the properties of these fine particles. What could they do? I found something that gave us a grease that did not have a melting point. We could get temperatures up to 150 degrees centigrade, maybe even above that.

Q: What was the importance of obtaining the lubricating grease with no melting point?

It’s important because, for example, when you went to a gas station they had a couple dozen greases for all different parts of the car. Well, these greases have a high melting point and high stability, we found that the same grease could work on them all. That was it. If it worked, the oil would only have to be changed once a year.

Q: Can you tell me more about your work with coal?

A major issue is the pollution from mercury produced by the coal. We did some work concerning purifying coals however, the problem about what to do with the waste has eluded us. We produced almost pure coal with low sulfur through agglomeration. The factories probably don’t even know about our agglomeration process since our paper was published in 1968.

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