Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 16, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Biodegradable functional fluids are finding acceptance within the market place, particularly in speciality applications and Europe where stricter environmental standards are in place. Vegetable based fluids fill a part of these markets but often fail to meet all of the rigors that the application requires. In particular, vegetable based fluids have suffered from poor oxidative stability, high pour points and are expensive when compared to their mineral oil based counterparts. Additive packages have made small improvements in the vegetable based materials properties but with increased cost of manufacture. Estolides that are derived from vegetable sources have shown a strong promise of greatly enhancing the physical properties of a vegetable based material without costly additive packages yet maintaining the biodegradability of the material. Vegetable oils typically have pour points near -10 C and with additives can be stretched to -20 C. Costly derivatives of vegetable oils such as TMP trioleates have improved pour points from -20 to -45 C. Estolides which cost approximately $0.11-$0.15 to manufacture from fatty acids give pour points from -30 to -41 C without additives. Estolides were compared directly to 11 current mineral oil based crank case lubricants on the store shelf. Only two commercial motor oils outperformed the estolide in pour point (pour point of -42 and -45 C). Both of the commercial oils were derived from synthetic esters with retail prices near $4.00 per quart compared to the estolides estimated cost of $1.59 per quart.