DIC Corp. unveils sustainable lubricants for automotive industry

DIC Corp. unveils sustainable lubricants for automotive industry

DIC Corporation has introduced a pioneering range of sulphurized algae oil-based extreme pressure (EP) additives, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional lard and vegetable oils for the automotive and electric vehicle (EV) industries.

These new additives, marketed under the brand DAILUBE™ KS-519, are currently in the testing phase and have been demonstrated to significantly reduce carbon emissions, waste, and water use in manufacturing processes, the company said.

DIC Corporation is a Japanese chemical company specialising in the development, manufacture, and sale of a wide range of products including inks, pigments, polymers, specialty plastics, and compounds, as well as biochemicals. Established in 1908, originally as Kawamura Ink Manufactory, DIC has grown to be a significant player in the global market, particularly noted for its top share in printing inks, organic pigments, and PPS compounds. The company leverages its expertise in organic pigments and synthetic resins to serve a diverse set of industries and markets, reinforcing its status as a leader in the chemical sector.

As part of DIC’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, these light-colored sulphurized triglyceride mixtures leverage advanced biotechnology from Checkerspot to utilise algae oil, aiming to meet the growing demands for environmentally responsible lubricants. The development of these additives aligns with global trends towards reducing environmental footprints and enhancing sustainability scores across industries.

Hironobu Matsueda, the product development leader for DAILUBE™ KS-519, emphasised the additive’s superior performance, especially in supporting larger automobile parts and increasing demands from the EV sector. “With the rise of EVs, we expect higher demand for larger automobile parts, increasing press processing and creating demand for sulphurized oils. We believe KS-519 performs better than conventional sulphurized oils and provides greater sustainability than vegetable-based oils.”

He highlighted the additive’s advantages in cutting oil processes, where its lower viscosity helps it reach all corners during machining, a crucial factor in manufacturing efficiency. “KS-519 also benefits cutting oil processes by reducing energy usage. Manufacturers prefer using low-viscosity lubricating oils for cutting processes, as lubricants must spread to corners during machining. Neither sulphurized lard nor other high-viscosity types are suitable. Manufacturers often use products with medium viscosity or lower (40°C dynamic viscosity: 400 mm2/s or lower), making KS-519 an ideal solution.”

Checkerspot, a biotechnology company headquartered in Alameda, California, U.S.A., has been integral in developing the commercial production of algae oil. Utilising its proprietary WING® Platform, Checkerspot produces 100% biobased lubrication inputs that not only meet but surpass the performance properties of traditional EP additives. Charles Dimmler, CEO and co-founder of Checkerspot, stated, “We’re excited to work with DIC to commercialise the world’s first algae oil-based high-performance sulphurized EP additive. DAILUBE™ KS-519 demonstrates performance needn’t be compromised by sustainability.”

The collaboration also highlights the potential of microalgae as a sustainable and effective source for high-performance lubricants. Scott Franklin, Checkerspot’s chief sustainability officer and co-founder, remarked on the significant scale of this opportunity. “These new algae oil-based EP additives also present another opportunity to show the world that algae fermentation, utilising Brazilian sugarcane co-located with the plant, delivers a more sustainable method for producing triglyceride oils. This collaboration with DIC will showcase these performance benefits to a broader audience hungry for sustainable, high-performance lubricants with reduced carbon footprints.”