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Production of biosynthetic lubricant oil begins at demo plant
15 October 2013
California-based Biosynthetic Technologies, in partnership with Albemarle, announced that operations of a demonstration production plant for biosynthetic lubricant oil within Albemarle’s existing Baton Rouge facility have commenced.
Biosynthetic Technologies holds exclusive rights to patented technology that converts fatty acids into high-performance synthetic oils that can be used in lubricant, personal care and other chemical sectors. These biosynthetic base oils exhibit many superior characteristics to petroleum-based lubricant oils.
Working with the USDA, Biosynthetic Technologies developed a new, high performance, bio-based “drop-in” synthetic alternative to petroleum used in motor oils and industrial lubricants; the biosynthetic oil is called Estolides.
The new plant incorporates and validates every aspect of the low-cost continuous-flow manufacturing process. Biosynthetic Technologies is now moving forward with development of a full-scale commercial production plant. Locations are being evaluated, including locations in the company’s home state of California.
The world consumes almost 12 billion gallons of non-renewable, petroleum-based lubricants each year and nearly 90% enters the environment. A recent lifecycle analysis found that Estolides offers an 83% to 88% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to similar petroleum-based synthetic oils.
Motor oils formulated with this oil will be the first bio-based motor oils offered by major motor oil brands and certified to the latest industry standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API). The company said it is also working with dozens of industrial lubricant manufacturers, additive companies, and equipment manufacturers who are testing these biosynthetic oils for use in greases, gear oils, cooling fluids, metal working fluids, hydraulic fluids, marine lubricants and other industrial products.
Independent testing not only shows biosynthetic oils to be among the highest-rated products for protecting engines and machinery; they are also bio-based, biodegradable, non-toxic and do not bioaccumulate in marine organisms. Also, motor oils and lubricants formulated with biosynthetic base oils can be recycled and re-refined just like petroleum.
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