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CYPHOS® for Electric Vehicle Lubrication

Lubricants for Moving Forward – Improved Fuel Efficiency and Reduced Wear

There are many challenges facing today’s electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers. When selecting EV lubricants, companies often rely on iterative improvements to formulations designed for internal combustion engines. These lubricants present challenges and fail to substantially improve system efficiency. On average, engines running with conventional or modified lubricants in EV are only 70% effective due to losses directly related to lubrication. Compounding matters, lubricant choices are constrained because metal-containing lubricant additives such as ZDDP are unsuitable for EVs (due to the presence of metals).

Solvays CYPHOS® phosphorus- based ionic liquid additives are designed to withstand harsh conditions of EV systems, facilitating heat transfer and improving operating efficiency. Heat transfer is a critical issue in lubricants for EVs as they must be able to transfer heat from areas with local and high heat intensity. The ability of phosphonium ionic liquids to conduct heat is established and a key benefit of these systems (1). Thus the well-established efficacy of phosphonium ionic liquids for anti-wear improvements (2-5) is combined with the added benefits of being metal free, non-flammable, with excellent chemical resistance and also exceptional thermal stability. The CYPHOS® phosphonium ionic liquids can be modified (6,7) by swapping out anions to alter lubricant, anti-wear, and solubility properties. These beneficial properties can be observed with as low as 0.5-1.0 wt% loading levels.


These versatile, oil and grease soluble molecules have the potential to outperform traditional lubricant additives as they form adsorbed films on metal surfaces (8) and prevent long term friction wear and improve the economy of a vehicle.


CYPHOS® phosphonium ionic liquids are readily available in high-purity at commercial and lab scales.  Custom packaging and logistics support is available at commercial scale. To learn more about other ligands for catalysis, please refer to the Solvay offering at Strem or the Solvay website.



  1.    For a review see: Ind.Eng.Chem. Res.,2014, 53, 7224-7232.
  2.    Langmuir, 2014, 30, 13301-13311.
  3.    Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2020, 12, 17077-17090.
  4.    Tribology International,2016, 95, 118-131.
  5.    Tribology International,2021, 159, 106949-106959.
  6.    US Patent 10435642, Oct. 8, 2019.
  7.    Advanced Materials, 2015, 27, 4767-4774.



Featured Products:

97-1579 Tetrabutyphosphonium bromide (75% in water) [CYPHOS® 442W PHOSPHONIUM SALT] (3115-68-2)

97-7630 Tetraoctylphosphonium bromide (45-55 wt% in toluene) [CYPHOS® 482T PHOSPHONIUM SALT] (23906-97-0)

97-1330 Tributyl(ethyl)phosphonium diethylphosphate, 95% [CYPHOS® IL 169 PHOSPHONIUM SALT]  (20445-94-7)


Related Products:

Phosphorus Ligands and Compounds Booklet

All products sold in collaboration with Solvay




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