Bio-Lubricants: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Bio-lubricants are lubricants, made up of vegetable oils and synthetic esters, that biodegrade easily and have no toxic or harmful effects on the environment or humans.
Bio-lubricants provide the same functions as traditional lubricants: to reduce friction and wear, protect against corrosion, improve efficiency and safety, and regulate temperatures and the presence of contaminants.
However, as a result of their unique advantages, they provide a more sustainable, less toxic and safer alternative for manufacturers requiring lubricants, especially in sensitive environments such as those found in the marine or food and drink industries.
The global bio-lubricants market is estimated to reach a value of £3.7 billion by 2029, growing at a rate of 4.7% from 2022. This growth is accounted for by the rising awareness of the environment, government legislation aiming at sustainability, and the growing usage of bio-lubricants in the transportation and manufacturing industries. As a result, manufacturers looking to improve the sustainability of their business and reduce environmental impact are increasingly investing in bio-lubricants for their lubrication requirements, gaining a competitive, ecological edge in this growing market.
Here we answer the top frequently asked questions (FAQ) on bio-lubricants:
What are the different types of bio-lubricants?
Bio-lubricants are typically based on saturated and unsaturated ester oils. They can be divided into five groups: monocarboxylic acid esters (monoesters), dicarboxylic acid esters (diesters), glycerol esters including natural oils and fats, polyol esters, and complex esters.
More generally, bio-lubricants are sometimes categorised into the following application types: hydraulic fluids, greases, chainsaw oil and release agents.
Where are bio-lubricants best used?
Bio-lubricants are ideal for applications where the lubricant will be in direct contact with its environment.
This can include machinery that deposits oil directly into the environment when it is in operation, food & drink industry applications, and applications in sensitive environments such as waterways, national parks, wildlife refuges and recreational resorts.
Specific examples range from engines, gearboxes, hydraulics, chains, cranes and bearings.
How do I choose a bio-lubricant for my application?
Different bio-lubricants are suited to different applications, depending on their behaviours in varying temperatures, viscosities, coefficients of friction and adhesiveness.
It’s recommended that you cross-check the requirements of your application with the specifications of the lubricant before attempting lubrication. You can contact us directly to get expert advice on which bio-lubricant to use for your application.
How does a lubricant achieve biodegradability?
Many biodegradable lubricants are made from natural vegetable oils such as rapeseed or sunflower seed oils, which are biodegradable by nature. In order for a lubricant to be classified as biodegradable, it has to be degraded by more than 60% within 28 days.
Do bio-lubricants perform worse than non-biodegradable lubricants?
No, bio-lubricants can achieve excellent lubrication just as well as traditional lubricants, if not better in specific applications. The bio-degradability of a lubricant does not affect its lubricity, temperature and pressure capacity, or ability to reduce wear and friction.
What bio-lubricants does Antala offer?
Here at Antala, we provide high-performing bio-lubricants from KAJO, with 50 years of experience in this market. KAJO’s bio-lubricants are certified with the EU Ecolabel and Blue Angel environmental labels, ensuring environmental sustainability and innovation.
The table below summarises a few select KAJO lubricants and what they can be used for:
|Kajo Bio 2050||Contains antioxidants which prolong tractor life||Lubrication of engines, sliding tracks and chain-locking devices|
|Kajo Bio Temperature Flow Grease G||Excellent resistance to water – provides corrosion resistance||Lubrication of wheel flanges|
|Kajo Bio Longlife LZR 2||Great for sensitive environments||Lubrication of interlocking machines|
|Kajo Bio Grease SK1||High adhesiveness||Lubrication of wheel flanges|
|Kajo Bio Roller Grease GE 2||Low wear and protection against corrosion||Lubrication of bearings|
|Kajo Bio Grease 00||Excellent resistance to water – provides corrosion resistance||Multipurpose lubrication|