Nuspec Oil offers bio-based bright stock base oil for testing
Photo courtesy of Nuspec Oil

Nuspec Oil offers bio-based bright stock base oil for testing

Nuspec Oil, a UK start-up, has completed pilot-scale production of a bright stock base oil that is bio-based and biodegradable called BS32. The product is currently only available for testing purposes. Nuspec Oil said it plans to ramp up production and make the product commercially available next year.

Nuspec Oil was founded in 2019 as a company focused on the development of  next-generation base oils. Nuspec Oil wants to broaden the range of bio-based bright stock grades by using novel rapeseed oils with ultra-low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Utilising the sonochemical process developed by Nuspec Oil, BS32 is a breakthrough product, the company claims. These speciality plant oils show superior thermal stability in comparison to other conventional plant feedstocks, it added.

Global bright stock deficit seen

Global bright stock demand is estimated at 2.5 million tons per year, with Europe requiring 320 kilotonnes per year. Conventional bright stock supplies were already tight before Covid-19 due to capacity reduction of traditional API Group I based oil refineries. By 2030, the bright stock deficit is estimated at 250-300 kilotonnes.

The bright stock shortage can be addressed to a certain extent by various blending strategies, as well as substitute products such as high viscosity polyalphaolefins (PAOs), polyalkyleneglycols (PAGs), polyisobutylenes (PIBs) and heavy naphthenics base oils.

Price penalty for alternative products

There is a price penalty for these alternative products, however. Additionally, there is an absence of direct monograde substitution with mineral bright stock with equivalent viscosity. For some products, performance varies between batches. Viscosity and solubility are restricted. Further, sustainability and biodegradability are issues for some bio-based oils. 

According to Nuspec Oil, its technology can advance innovation and deliver monograde, convenient direct replacement of conventional paraffinic oil-based bright stock.

Early trials have shown promising performance of its bio-based bright stock in marine and industrial lubricants and greases, the company said.

Nuspec Oil says they see a 5,000-6,000 barrel per day market opportunity with the current bright stock base oil supply and demand gap.