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Continued from page 10 Blue Angel Eco-label


The German Blue Angel Ecolabel was the world’s first environmental label and created in 1978. The objective of the Blue Angel environmental label for biodegradable lubricants and hydraulic fluids is to enable users to choose products that demonstrate a low toxicological hazard potential and, more importantly, good biodegradability to help significantly reduce environmental impacts as well as negative effects on flora (plants) and fauna (animals). Like the European Ecolabel, products awarded the Blue Angel Ecolabel have to meet the technical requirements of ISO 15380.


Swedish Standard SS 15 54 34 category V Sweden has long been regarded as one of the most environmentally-conscious countries in the world. The Swedish Standard SS 15 54 34 includes environmental requirements for hydraulic oils and stipulates the need for high biodegradability, low acute and chronic toxicity of the additives toward aquatic organisms, and the finished lubricant must not be classified as hazardous to health and the environment. All biodegradable hydraulic fluids sold in the Swedish market are required to meet the Swedish Standard SS 15 54 34.


Vessel Incidental Discharge Act The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) was signed in 2018 and affects how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulate incidental discharges from commercial vessels. VIDA will replace the existing Vessel General Permit (VGP) once EPA and USCG publish the implemented regulations (anticipated in 2022).


Within the VGP and VIDA the use of EALs are mandated, which must be biodegradable, non-bio accumulative and minimally toxic. Products approved by labelling programs like Blue Angel, European Ecolabel, and Swedish Standard SS 15 54 34 generally meet the VGP/VIDA requirements, although product approval by these standards is not specifically required. Not every ‘bio-oil’ is an EAL and it is therefore vital to check oil marketers’ approval claims.


United States Department of Agriculture BioPreferred®


Product Label


The objective of the United States Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred®


Program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. There 12 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.160 DECEMBER 2020


LINK www.lubrizol.com/Lubricant-and-Fuel-Additives


are two major parts to the programme. Firstly, is the mandatory purchasing by federal agencies and contractors of biobased products in categories, including hydraulic fluids, identified by the USDA. Secondly, there is also a voluntary labelling initiative for biobased products that confirms that the product contains a verified amount of renewable biological ingredients. For hydraulic fluids, the minimum biobased content is 44%.


In terms of protection and performance, a biodegradable hydraulic fluid needs to demonstrate excellent performance characteristics across a number of areas, including: anti-wear and extreme pressure performance; filterability; rust and corrosion protection; low foaming; thermal and oxidative stability; demulsibility performance; and compatibility with other hydraulic fluids.


Delivering the required protection and performance, while conforming to exacting environmental specifications, requires a combination of formulating expertise along with specialist toxicity and environmental knowledge.


If the hydraulic fluid is being changed from a conventional, non-biodegradable product to a biodegradable hydraulic fluid, contamination from the previous fluid can often happen. Therefore, it is essential to select a biodegradable hydraulic fluid that has been proven not to form incompatible reaction byproducts that block filters when mixed with conventional fluids.


Increasing concerns and requirements to protect environmentally-sensitive areas have led to a rise in the demand for low environmental impact hydraulic fluids.


Carefully developed and proven biodegradable hydraulic fluids are available that meet both performance and environmental specifications, supporting a cleaner, safer and more environmentally compliant future.


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