Ecofriendly base oils & Lubricants set the benchmark
New products coming into the market are set to advance industry standards by optimizing engine performance while enabling environmental compliance for new engine designs
The conference highlighting a niche segment of the marine and automobile industry such as one held by HINODE on “Outlook for Base Oils & Lubricants in India” on June 1, 2012 threw up plenty of surprises as speakers focused on projecting the various developments and advancement that are underway. Key executives from the base oil & lubricant manufacturers, the oil majors and buyers, sellers and specialists took keen interest in the new products expected to make their appearance in the market as they are set to advance industry standards by optimizing engine performance while enabling environmental compliance for new engine designs.
Ever since the wheel was invented one can safely say that the incessant search for the ideal base oil for lubricants and greases began to take shape. There will always be companies coming up with offerings of the widest range of base oils – covering the entire viscosity spectrum, from very low to high. There will also be customized blend to meet individual requirements. This is borne by the fact that better viscosity control and reduced volatility helps cut lubricant consumption and provide fuel economy benefits. Not forgetting that there is improved equipment protection and extended lubricant life due to superior oxidation and thermal stability.
Many such important issues took center stage at the conference opening a floodgate of queries and issues for lengthy deliberations. But it was the participants’ interests on bio-lubricants and environment friendly products that held sway during the interaction and networking sessions.
Globally marine lubricant consumption compared to other industries is just 5 per cent and that by India is 5 per cent of this global usage. Yet what is of concern is that oil-based chemicals routinely leak into the sea during normal operations include fuel oils, gear oils, hydraulic oils, marine lubricants, greases and cleaning oils, and can reach concentrated levels with serious local impacts on water quality, impacting fisheries and marine life and the environment at large.
The accent is now clearly on biodegradables. Lubricants are manufactured from highly refined base oils with functional additives present in order to give the required performance properties to suit the intended application. A lubricant may well be formulated using a biodegradable base oil, but with no thought given to the environmental effects of the additives on the marine environment.
Marine biodegradable multipurpose lubricant is deeply penetrating lubricant that cleans, lubricates and protects. It contains superior anti-wear additives that provide high film strength and low film thickness to prevent metal-to-metal contact. Marine Biodegradable Multipurpose Lubricant displaces moisture and can be applied to wet surfaces. Marine Biodegradable Multipurpose Lubricant is greater than 60% biodegradable making it the perfect multipurpose lubricant option for recreational and commercial marine users.
Today ships carry 100 different types of oils on board thus posing a challenging task to manage the supply chain. If this can be reduced to just 25 or 10 different types of oils it would make a world of difference and ease the supply chain management not only for the lubricant producer but also for the ship owner.
According to some speakers at the conference Shell is coming out with a multipurpose lubricant that will meet the requirements of several applications all at the same time. Besides, Shell other companies too are likely to follow suit. But in time to come it is possible to rationalize the needs on board the ship. Instead of supplying various niche types of oils it would soon be possible to provide just two or three ingredients and depending on the requirements these could be mixed to whatever proportion they chose in order to meet their requirement.