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SEQENS introduces calcium sulfonate biodegradable greases

SEQENS introduces calcium sulfonate biodegradable greases
Photo courtesy of SEQENS

SEQENS has introduced a range of overbased complex calcium sulfonate biodegradable greases. The product is now available worldwide. Seqens, based in Ecully, France, is an integrated global leader in pharmaceutical solutions and specialty ingredients.

According to Marie Legatte, marketing manager, SEQENS, KELICO V® is unique because it is the only calcium sulfonate grease available in the market today that is biodegradable. The product range is formulated with rapeseed oil. Secondly, SEQENS uses a one-step process that dispenses with the requirement to use a mineral oil-based precursor. Legatte says the one-step process called “carbonatation” is unique to SEQENS.

KELICO® V overbased calcium sulfonate greases are premium greases for high load and high temperature applications, suitable for extreme environment and particularly adapted for marine applications because of their resistance to water and their intrinsic anti-corrosion performances.

Calcium sulfonate grease development started several decades ago. Several patents describe the conversion of overbased calcium sulfonate, the precursor, with total base number (TBN) ranging from 300 to 500, to grease containing calcite particles.

In 1960, McMillen patented calcium sulfonate greases obtained via a two-step process where a highly amorphous overbased calcium sulfonate was prepared in a mineral or synthetic oil and then transformed in a second step with acids, lime and suitable promoters. Amorphous calcium carbonate was converted into the desired crystalline calcite form, followed by the removal of promoters and water.

In the 1980s, a new process was developed for overbased calcium sulfonate greases via a one-step process. This was to become the key solution to formulate overbased calcium sulfonate greases which SEQENS industrialized more than 20 years ago.

All the ingredients are mixed together, sulfonic acid, base oil (vegetable, synthetic or mineral based) and lime. The finished greases are a complex mixture of calcium sulfonate, calcium carbonate under calcite form and a 100% chosen carrier. Initially SEQENS used paraffinic base oils, later shifting to naphthenic base oils, and then rapeseed oil, as the demand for biodegradability from the marine sector increased.

KELICOⓇ V ester-based overbased calcium sulfonate greases, which are available in three grades, are defined as biodegradable, non-bioaccumulative and non-toxic to aquatic species which makes them suitable candidates for applications where environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) are required.