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Vegetable and Plant Oils To date, most biobased lubricants and greases are made with vegetable oils like rapeseed, canola, soybean, or sunflower oil to name a few. The following table shows typical properties of some of the known vegetable oils that have been used in biobased lubricants. The most important criterion for use of these oils in lubricants is the oxidation stability tests which is performed using the Oil Stability Index AOCS STANDARD METHOD CD 12b-92. Table 1 presents select properties of common vegetable oils.


Table 1: Select properties of common vegetable oils. Source: Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing, Inc.


But, there are also some plant oils that have shown promise for future use. In the United States, the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, has been engaged in researching the potential of numerous plants and crops that are not necessarily edible but show promise for use in many industrial applications including fuels and lubricants. Some of the crops tested and reported by AAIC appear in Figure 5.


It is conceivable that as biobased products become mainstream, by relying on local plants and oils seeds, the use of non-food industrial crops for fuel and lubricants could grow worldwide. Recent advances in genetic identification and enhancement of food crops has had a side benefit for industrial applications. For example, there are several high oleic versions of soybean, canola and sunflower oils that are available that due to their high oxidation stability can be used in frying applications without the need for hydrogenation. Because hydrogenation of vegetable oils, a means of stabilising them for frying and other applications, has negative health impacts due to the creation of trans-fatty acids, the high oleic oils offer a healthier natural stability. Biobased lubricants have been incorporating the use of high oleic oils combined with anti-oxidants and improved processing techniques like microwave processing to create products that can now compete with mineral oil-based products in performance and price. All indications are that biobased products have come of age and will continue to grow in the years to come.


LINKS www.elmusa.com www.lubitec.eu www.aaic.org www.biopreferred.gov/ BioPreferred/


Figure 5:


Representative examples of industrial crops.


Table 2 lists some of the properties of selected plant and crop oils.


Table 2: Select Properties of Industrial Crops. Source: Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing, Inc.


8


LUBE MAGAZINE NO.140 AUGUST 2017


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