Researchers at the University of Huelva have proven that high-oleic sunflower oil has the efficiency it takes to be an environmentally-friendly base for industrial lubricant.
The study found that the biolubricant shared similar characteristics to traditional lubricants, only sunflower oil has a lower volatility and is entirely biodegradable. Using the sunflower oil as an alternative should also help reduce the cost of keeping industry clean.
One of the tested products used a mixture of the high-oleic sunflower oil with thylene vinyl-acetate copolymer, but researchers found that the mixture could be easily altered so that the biolubricant could take on multiple uses.
“We can use the obtained oils for different applications: four-stroke engines, gears, ball bearings, etc, depending on the viscosity of lubricants and the proportion of high oleic component,” said Críspulo Gallegos, one of the project’s researchers.
Researchers also said the only thing left to be tested is how much more the oil can be optimized by polymers for the final product to still be considered “ecological”. That ethos doesn’t exactly set the bar very high for developing the most ecological product, but it at least echoes the importance of having industrial standards for such labels. We’ll still give researchers credit for the effort.
Image Credit: Ctd 2005 on Flickr under a CC License
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