Huelva: sunflower oils can replace hydrocarbons in industrial lubricants

05 Aug 2009 | News

Research lead | Development opportunity

A group at the University of Huelva, Spain has shown in laboratory trials that sunflower oil could be used to produce industrial lubricants that are more environmentally friendly but have similar characteristics to traditional products

This work on viscosity modification of high-oleic sunflower oil with polymeric additives for new biolubricant formulations, shows vegetable oil constituents can provide an alternative basis for lubricants, and offer high biodegradability and low volatility. High-oleic oil mixed with compounds such as an ethylene vinyl-acetate copolymer have a similar performance to current mineral lubricants.

Adding different concentrations of polymers produces lubricants with completely different characteristics. The researchers have carried out in-depth research to characterise the properties of the different lubricants they have produced, and the uses to which they are suited.

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