The Importance of Biodegradable Lubricants

Car mechanic or serviceman fills a fresh lubricant engine oil at car garage for repair or maintenance a car

Biodegradable lubricants have the ability to breakdown by means of biological organisms. They are non-toxic oils and as a base some are derived from vegetable, rape, sunflower, synthetic esters oils.

What are the Benefits of Biodegradable Lubricants?

Lubricating oils are used in numerous ways across a multitude of industries. Usually, Lubricants are used in machinery to create a microfilm between mutual surfaces. Lubricants reduce the temperature of moving parts and increase longevity because of the lubrication. The pollution from lubricants can be deadly to humans, animals and plant life. In fact, one oil spill can be responsible for the death of over 1 million coastal and offshore birds and one liter of oil can pollute 1,000,000 of water. The damage caused by crude oil spills has been an ongoing controversy.

A Greener Choice

The desire to use biodegradable is increasing as the world’s attention is turned towards environmental concerns. Some countries have been proactive in the use and production of biodegradable oils. In fact, 80% of the oils produced in Germany and Scandinavia are vegetable oils. On-going scientific assessments of the biodegradability percentage of oils determine their ability to degrade. Various biodegradable oils have different rates of biodegradability, the trend is towards 100%.

How are Biodegradable Lubricants used in Industry Today?

Railway Industry

Bio-greases are considered to have more stability temperament in the manufacturing equipment and the greasing of the rail curves since it has a higher viscosity index when exposed to higher temperatures.

Transmission Industry

Biobased oils and High VI synthetic base oils are used in the fuel lines of automatic, manual transmissions and hydraulic systems that require a multi-grade lower viscosity ATF.

Transformer Cooling

Soy-based natural ester dielectric fluid used in transformer cooking is considered a superior choice since it is less flammable and biodegradable. This blend of soy-oil can extend the life of insulation because it draws out moisture from paper insulation. Biodegradable oil should be non-lethal, non-hazardous, re-conditionable, chemically inert and low-risk thermal by-products.

Automotive Industry

Green technology has hit the automotive industry with the production of synthetic biodegradable engine oils. The blend is compatible with other oils and offers superior protection under tough drive conditions.

Marine Industry

Synthetic and fully saturated ester-based fluids are used in major OEM’s stabilizers in controllable pitch propellers, stern tubes, thrusters, propulsion drives. These environmentally friendly oils deliver superior load carrying performance while maintaining biodegradability. Non-emulsifying ester fluid from fully saturated esters are used by major stern tube and seal manufacturers.

Skin Care Industry

The skin care industry has numerous options on the market for eco-conscious consumers. Instead, of opting for topical creams and beauty treatments with petroleum oils new products are emerging on the scene with all-natural options such as coconut oil, oil olive and the list goes on. Petroleum and mineral oils may be contaminated with Carcinogens. To avoid negative health effects and promote a healthier alternative many consumers are turning towards beauty products containing natural biodegradable oils.


When machine cutting tools such as saws or harvesters are operated in maintaining and gardening forest areas, the lubricating oils are emitted into the atmosphere causing harm to the environment. To reduce the negative impact to the forest, regulations permit the use of oils with a 50% based on biodegradability. Additional tests are on-going to reach the goal of 100% biodegradability.

Mining Industry

The mining industry is searching out ways to reduce their environmental impact. Since the majority of the mining is performed underground the fear is that lubricants can contaminate the earth, groundwater and aquifers. Eco-conscious mining companies make use of biodegradable, high-performance, non-toxic gear oils and greases formulated for use on their medium- to large-sized girth gears. These oils are able to stand up to the challenge of being used on massive sized machinery in harsh conditions.