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Development of new bio-lubricants and coatings using standoils from linseed, castor and tung oils (STANLUB)

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Novel, cost-effective vegetable oil-based lubricant

EU-funded researchers developed a novel bio-lubricant and the process to make it that could boost business, rural development and environmental health all at the same time.

Climate Change and Environment

Lubricants reduce heat, friction and wear when applied as coatings to moving parts. Currently, nearly 90 % of lubricants are produced by the petrochemical industry, resulting in depletion of natural resources and a heavy environmental burden. Bio-lubricants represent an emerging market in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly active. However, to enhance competitiveness, the performance of bio-lubricants must be increased while at the same time cost-effective production processes must be developed. The EU-funded ‘Development of new bio-lubricants and coatings using standoils from linseed, castor and tung oils’ (Stanlub) project was conceived to address these needs. Investigators identified a mixture of three different plant oils as raw material to substitute petroleum. They then developed the appropriate production process resulting in a reduced number of steps and thus production cost. Stanlub bio-lubricants were field tested, demonstrating good performance in metal working applications, railway switches and chainsaws. Commercial development of Stanlub bio-lubricants should significantly boost the competitiveness of European SMEs working in the growing bio-lubricant sector. Furthermore, it has great potential to enhance rural economic development, ensure worker safety and decrease hydrocarbon pollution.

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