Who-is-Who in Biobased Lubricants? New Cooperations Grease the Bioeconomy
Until now, you have bought your base oil from one of the large petrochemical companies. Now, you have to look for companies that offer base oils made from rapeseed or palm oil.
One new-comer in the market is Biosynthetic Technologies. Its primary product line, sold under the name of Biosynthetic Base Oil, is comprised of biobased oils that are synthesized specifically for high performance lubricant applications in the automotive and industrial sectors. Currently available in a low and a high viscosity, the company claims that the biosynthetic oils can be blended into a variety of viscosities to meet most lubricant applications.
Hundreds of Bio-Based Lubricants
Another supplier is Renewable Lubricants that claims to sell over 250 products to the biobased lubricant market. Combining vegetable oils with proprietary additives, the applications range from racing engines to hydraulic requirements in extremely cold temperatures.
Elevance Renewable Sciences is co-owner of a world-scale biorefinery in Indonesia. Using metathesis, renewable natural oils are turned into high-value specialty difunctional molecules, olefins and oleochemicals with a capacity of 180 kMT. The chemicals are then processed both into base oils and additives for tailor-made biolubricants.
Speaking of Additives
If you want to sell biobased lubricants, you need biobased additives as well. Biobased lubricants usually require less additives than their petroleum-based cousins to improve the lubricating qualities. However, they are more prone to hydrolysis and oxidation, thus requiring more preservatives. Other required additives may include thickeners, antifoaming agents, tackifiers etc.