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CYPHOS® for Electric Vehicle Greases

Lubricants for Moving Forward – Multifunctional Additives for an Evolving Technical Challenge

As we move towards a more sustainable world, the electrification of everyday transport vehicles is a major change driver. Electric vehicles (EV) offer the promise of reduced carbon emissions from transportation and a reduced impact on the environment. In order to achieve their maximum potential, EVs must identify and improve multiple aspects in their design, lubrication being a significant one.

There are many challenges and opportunities confronting today’s electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers. This includes, but is not limited to new lubricants for drivetrains, cooling requirements (thermal management), dielectric properties, gear and bearing changes (new engine layouts), higher RPMs, and copper compatibility. As electric vehicles evolve, the needs and standards are evolving with them.

Solvays CYPHOS® phosphorus- based ionic liquid additives are designed to withstand harsh conditions of EV systems, facilitating electrical conductivity, and improving operating efficiency.  Combining the well-established efficacy of phosphonium ionic liquids for anti-wear improvements (1-4) with the added benefits of being metal free, non-flammable, excellent chemical resistance and having exceptional thermal stability. The CYPHOS® phosphonium ionic liquids can be modified (5,6) 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.


In the context of greases – many bearings in EVs operate in an electric field. This field is different in each auto design and requires different electrical conductivities along with anti-wear protection. The ability to tailor electrical conductivity and maintain AW properties is demonstrated below (7).


Figure 1: Electrical conductivity of Grease formulations with ILs based on CYPHOS® 442

image3   image 4 

Figure 1: AW/EP of Grease formulations with ILs based on CYPHOS® 442 and CYPHOS® 482 

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. Langmuir, 2014, 30, 13301-13311.
  2. Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2020, 12, 17077-17090.
  3. Tribology International, 2016, 95, 118-131.
  4. Tribology International, 2021, 159, 106949-106959.
  5. US Patent 10435642, Oct. 8, 2019.
  6. Advanced Materials, 2015, 27, 4767-4774.
  7. Conrad, E.; Fathi-Najafi, M. et al. NLGI 2023


Featured Product:

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)


Related Products:

CYTOP Products

Phosphorus Ligands and Compounds Booklet

All products sold in collaboration with Solvay



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