Biosynthetic Technologies, with support from the United Soybean Board (USB), recently received American Petroleum Institute (API) certification on two motor oil formulations (5W-20 and 5W-30) that contain a synthetic ester made from high oleic soybean oil.
API test results verify these new biosynthetic-based motor oils meet or exceed the performance characteristics of most high quality petroleum-based oils currently on the market.
Biosynthetic Technologies utilizes a chemical reaction process to convert fatty acid into a new molecule structure called an estolide. One of the key benefits to these biosynthetic oils is their ability to keep engine surfaces cleaner and reduce wear on bearing surfaces as compared to petroleum-based oils. The 5W-30 motor oil recently certified by the API achieved a piston deposit cleanliness rating of 8.5 out of 10. Petroleum synthetic oils typically score between 6.0 and 7.0, while conventional petroleum oils score between 4.0 and 5.5.
API certification marks an important step in the commercialization process and paves the way for use by motor oil manufacturers.
These biosynthetic motor oil formulations also meet the 25% biobased content requirement needed for certification under the US Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program.
Working with Infineum, the additive subsidiary of ExxonMobil and Shell, Biosynthetic Technologies has also recently completed a successful field trial fleet test using these high oleic-based biosynthetic motor oils in taxis operating in Las Vegas.
After running more than 150,000 miles in stop-and-go driving in the desert heat, taxi engines from cabs that used the biosynthetic oils visibly showed less deposits and baked in varnish than engines that ran conventional petroleum motor oils.
Biosynthetic Technologies has been manufacturing limited quantities of the high oleic soybean-based synthetic oils at their plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The company plans to build a large, full-scale facility, possibly in the Houston, Texas area within the next two years.