Expanding your portfolio with environmentally acceptable lubricant solutions
Demand for EALs continue to grow. Formulators have a prime opportunity to market new product lines and enter new markets by working with the right partners to develop high-performing EAL solutions.
By Nelson Tam, Product Manager of Industrial Products, Asia Pacific for The Lubrizol Corporation
Regulatory requirements, social responsibility and the desire to secure a clean future for our planet have all driven new demand for industrial lubricants with improved environmental protective properties. Biodegradability has become a highly sought-after trait in today’s marketplace, and in some applications, essential.
And for good reason: Every year, significant volumes of industrial fluids are lost to the environment through machine leakage, spillages and careless disposal. Maximizing such fluids’ eco-friendly potential is increasingly important.
Enter environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs), defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to have demonstrated three key features. The first is biodegradability, the capacity of lubricants to be decomposed by microorganisms over time into a combination of simpler by-products (primary biodegradation). The second is minimal aquatic toxicity, which refers to the lubricant’s capacity for minimal harm to aquatic organisms, per testing defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and EPA test guidelines. The final is non-bioaccumulative potential, or the lubricants’ ability to resist buildup of chemicals within the tissues of an organism over time.
Because the industry must constantly seek new ways to improve their product range and adapt to their environmental agendas, demand for EALs is growing dramatically. Within the industrial realm, it’s anticipated that marine, agriculture, construction, mining and offshore power generation will see significant growth potential for EALs in the coming years. Each represents an area with high potential for lubricating fluids to impact the surrounding environment via leakage or mishandling. Hydraulic fluids are expected to be the dominant application for EAL demand, with a range of other industrial applications making up the rest.
All of this is creating new opportunities for lubricant manufacturers.
Want to seize the potential by expanding your portfolio with EAL formulations? Read on to learn how:
Formulating for High Performance
Environmental friendliness is critical. But importantly, EALs must also maintain their ability to protect industrial equipment. Robust performance cannot be compromised.
However, maintaining such performance within EAL formulations is no easy task. That is because many of the most reliable classes of additive chemistries so common in traditional industrial lubricants do not meet toxicity and bioaccumulative potential characteristics necessary of an EAL. Alternative chemistries are required among:
Consider also that EAL formulating requirements further restrict the use of traditional mineral oils due to biodegradability and toxicity concerns. In effect, these restrictions eliminate the use of Groups I, II and III base oils from EAL formulations. Synthetic base oil formulations from Groups IV and V are required.
Though these limitations are challenging, formulating high-performance industrial fluids within such parameters is possible. It takes the right formulation expertise, high-performance nontoxic additives along with biodegradable base stocks.
Support from the right partner is necessary to succeed.
Seize the Potential With the Right Partner
To best help industrial fluid formulators seize the potential represented by growing demand for EALs around the world, Lubrizol has introduced its EcoAssurant™ portfolio, a single source solution for manufacturers to expand their customer base and grow their market share in hydraulics, industrial gear oil, metalworking and grease applications on a global scale.
EcoAssurant products are available as fully formulated solutions or components and additive packages, based on your unique formulating needs.
For fully formulated customers, the EcoAssurant portfolio eliminates the complexities and costs of formulating and blending. Lubrizol can act as an extension of lubricant manufacturers’ product development teams to provide a breadth of solutions and expertise, simplifying their ability to bring EAL solutions to market.
For customers of components and additive packages, EcoAssurant solutions promote worry-free formulating. Lubrizol’s 90 years of experience in pioneering industrial fluids grants customers industry-specific application expertise and guidance that ensure formulations will be both environmentally compliant and high performing.
All EcoAssurant products have been rigorously tested and certified by top regulatory bodies to meet these criteria, helping to enhance lubricant manufacturers’ eco-responsible reputations without having to compromise on product performance. Being environmentally certified and performance validated, EcoAssurant products give you a competitive edge by enabling your business to speed its EAL offerings to market with confidence. With the exceptional breadth of the EcoAssurant portfolio, you can expand your offering of highly valued products, gain greater share of your current markets and enter new ones.
Interested in learning more? Find out how Lubrizol is committed to helping industrial fluids manufacturers find success at Lubrizol.com.
About the Author
Nelson Tam is currently Product Manager of Industrial Products, Asia Pacific for the Lubrizol Corporation, providing product technical support to customers. He has over 30 years of experience in various areas of the lubricant industry. Nelson holds a degree in Chemistry from University of Waterloo in Canada.