Editorial: A sustained crisis
As we finalise this issue of F+L Magazine, we are still in the stranglehold of COVID-19, a pandemic unlike anything we’ve seen before. There are emerging signs that the health impacts of this deadly virus may soon be contained, but it will be a long road to recovery from a fiscal standpoint.
This sustained crisis is having a destructive impact on financial markets and the global economy. All supply chains are struggling with tremendous end-to-end disruption including business closures, cessation of factory outputs and interruption of global manufacturing. We are all hopeful that some semblance of normality will return in the near future, though, the likelihood is that there will be a “new normal” in a post-COVID-19 world. In this issue of F+L Magazine, we take a look at the potential reengineering of supply chains in China, and how business models that were used in the past will have to change in the future.
Some of the discussion on post-pandemic recovery plans is focused on building sustainable economies. The European Union is pushing forward with its Green Deal with the release of binding legislation to ensure climate neutrality by 2050. We review the impacts of the proposed European Climate Law on page 41.
Every region of the world has the potential to produce biogas and biomethane as a sustainable source of local energy, however, these energy sources currently account for only 3% of total bioenergy demand. On page 14, we explore the potential for biogas and biomethane. We consider another of the growing environmentally friendly renewable energy sources on page 24. The wind power industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the past few years. We examine the crucial role lubrication plays in the reliability of a wind farm, as well as emerging trends in wind turbine lubrication including Neste and Evonik’s attempt to break into a wind turbine market dominated by PAOs.
As many regions of the world look to strengthen their sustainable practices, the release of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule has seen the United States soften their fuel economy standards to put “safety and American families first” and reinvigorate a struggling automotive industry. Criticism has been swift and sharp with many fearing lower fuel economy standards will leave the U.S. out of step with other developed nations. We look at the impacts of this change on page 28.
Despite recent changes, electric vehicles (EV) remain poised to become the future of personal transportation. In EVs, the role of lubricants extends beyond their traditional bounds. The primary challenge in electric motors is cooling, not lubrication. On page 18, we investigate the implications of thermal management on lubricant formulation and battery design. We also discuss how a shift to EVs is creating an unclear future for automotive greases on page 30.
Please stay safe during these uncertain times.