As the metalworking fluid market is becoming more and more heavily regulated, lubricant suppliers and additive manufacturers are being faced with the challenge of accomplishing more with less through the development of multi-functional products. They are also being driven towards consideration of more sustainably sourced products that have a milder impact on the environment.
One raw material type that has been available for some time and continues to be used in a variety of ways is tall oil based additives, which are sustainably derived from pine trees. These raw materials are also known as pine chemicals. The Kraft process is used to convert wood from the pine tree into pulp in paper mills. A byproduct of this process is crude tall oil (CTO), which is then further processed in a bio-refinery.
Tall oil based products have historically been used in the lubricant industry for a wide range of applications, and they are used as additives to boost the performance of many different lubricant systems from metalworking fluid formulations to fuel additives. Distilled tall oil (DTO) and tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) are two raw materials produced from pine chemicals, which provide multiple performance characteristics that are needed more than ever before by the metalworking fluid industry. These products can also be further derivatized to yield products that provide unique functionality. Many of these products are highly versatile, offering some combination of emulsification, lubricity, corrosion inhibition and hard water stability, which allows formulators to reduce the overall number of components in a formula, which thereby can result in a systematic cost-reduction of the formula as well as ease of formulation.
This presentation will shed some light on how tall oil is made, the multi-functional nature of tall oil based chemistry, and the unique characteristics that make these additives a good fit for use in metalworking fluid applications.
Monica Ford, Ph.D., is a Senior Surface Scientist at Ingevity in the Industrial Specialties Division in N. Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A. She supports technical efforts for the group, with an emphasis on the lubricants market. Monica graduated from Tuskegee University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and from the University of Florida with a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with a focus on surfactants and interfacial phenomena. She also completed an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Pine chemistry, metalworking fluid, lubricant, sustainably sourced products, distilled tall oil, DTO, tall oil fatty acid, TOFA