Bio-based or Biodegradable? Lubricants Explained

Bio-based or Biodegradable? Lubricants Explained

Bio based or Biodegradable Lubricants Explained Lubchem

While using environmentally friendly lubricants is essential, you must understand the difference between bio-based vs. biodegradable options. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but they’re different. So, before choosing between a bio-based and biodegradable lubricant, compare the features and consider your needs.

What’s the main difference between bio-based and biodegradable lubricants? A bio-based lubricant is defined by its production process, while a biodegradable lubricant is defined by its decomposition. How long will the lubricant last in the environment? What’s the likelihood that the lubricant will break down? These questions will help you define a lubricant’s biodegradability and decomposability.

What is the difference between bio-based and biodegradable lubrication? Learn how our industrial lubrication products are different from the competition. Click To Tweet

What are Bio-based Lubricants?

The term “bio-based” comes into play when considering a lubricant’s source. So, a bio-based lubricant has a base stock derived from renewable raw materials harvested yearly. For instance, these could be products from rapeseed, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. These base stocks offer incredible lubricity and viscosity index properties, but their oxidation stability is inferior. As a result, their usage isn’t widespread.

What are Biodegradable Lubricants?

While the characterization of bio-based lubricants focuses on the front end of a lubricant’s production, the identity of biodegradable lubricants focuses on the back end. So, biodegradable lubricants are more likely to get broken down by the environment. Also, the timeframe taken by the environment to break down a lubricant defines its biodegradability. 

Pros and Cons of Bio-based and Biodegradable Lubricants

Bio-based and biodegradable lubricants have many advantages and a few drawbacks.

Here are the pros of bio-based and biodegradable lubricants.

  • Higher lubricity than mineral oils
  • Greater viscosity index than synthetic and mineral oils
  • Readily biodegradable and reduced toxicity
  • Reduced dependency on costly petroleum products
  • Higher flash point than synthetic and mineral oils

Here are the cons of biobased and biodegradable lubricants.

  • Requires friction modifiers to lower slippage in some applications
  • Lower oxidative stability, so you must treat or modify it to ensure performance
  • Can’t withstand high reservoir temperatures greater than 80 degrees Celcius
  • Vegetable base stocks require hydrogenation to counter low oxidative stability

Go Green with Lubchem Lubricants

Like bio-based plastics, bio-based or biodegradable lubricants are more environmentally friendly than fossil-based lubricants. Therefore, consider investing in biodegradable products to protect the environment and ensure sustainability in your industrial applications. Lubchem offers bio-based and biodegradable lubricants, so it’s time to go green.

Contact us today to get more information about our biodegradable lubricants.

Need More Info?

Our lubricant and chemical solutions are designed to enhance the performance of your industrial equipment.