Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2009, Brisbane, Australia, Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

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BIOBASED LUBRICANTS: A VIABILITY STUDY

Adam Ing

Abstract


Biobased lubricants are an attractive alternative to conventional petrobased lubricants due to a number of their physical properties including: renewablility, biodegradability, high lubricity and high flash points. Biobased lubricants have not replaced petrobased lubricants due to their higher cost, oxidative and thermal instability and limited temperature applications.

Research has been done to improve the physical properties of biobased lubricants. Dupont has bioengineered soybean seeds to yield soybean oil that is more oxidatively stable. The Prileshajev Epoxidation Process was developed to increase the oxidative stabilty of soybean oil. The Amberlyst 15 Catalyst was used to Reduce Pour Point of Vegetable Oil.

Biobased lubricants are generally more expensive than petrobased lubricants, but their increased lubricity allows for monetary savings through a decreased energy input requirement. As biobased lubricants are derived from vegetable oil, careful work must be done to balance the allocation of crop used to make lubricant. Currently there is not enough arable land to support the widespread use of biobased lubricants, so a collaboration of industry and government policy must be used to promote the use of biobased lubricants.

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