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Environmental & Social Benefits

ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS of Petroleum Lubricants
Motor oils and other industrial lubricants are formulated almost exclusively from petroleum “base oils” refined from crude oil; as is gasoline and diesel fuel. Obviously the fuel market is enormous but if efforts are successful in displacing transportation fuels, we still need lubricating oil and, right now it comes primarily from crude oil at the rate of .4 gallons per barrel.

Accounting for additives, the world needs around 1 trillion gallons (3.15 billion MT) of crude oil to meet our lubricating needs. As we move to hybrids, clean natural gas and other alternative transportation technologies, we need renewable and sustainable lubricant alternatives as well.

The fuel market is almost 100 times the size of the lubricant market, but it’s not unreasonable to argue that the pollution from motor oil is on par with fuels. Emissions from fuel are highly regulated. Current technology does a great job reducing tailpipe emissions. The same cannot be said of motor oil.

What happens to all this oil?
In 2011 the global lubricant market was 11.73 billion gallons (38.1 million MT) and here is its fate [1]:
4.22 billion gallons (13.7 million MT)    lost in use, being leaked on the road or burned in the engine
1.94 billion gallons (6.3 million MT)      illegally dumped, ending up in soil or down stormwater drains
4.13 billion gallons (13.4 million MT)    were collected and burned as fuel
10.29 billion gallons (33.4 million MT)  were lost directly to the environment. The balance was collected and re- refined as downshifted base stock and for other uses.

In the United States, the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) was signed into law in 1990, largely in response to rising public concern following the Exxon Valdez incident which spilled ≈ 11 million gallons (34,617 MT).

The shocking reality is that all oil spills over 10,000 MT, from 1901 to the present; from tanker accidents and drilling operations to storms and war total less than 2.7 billion gallons (8.5 million MT) worldwide. [2]

However, this total excludes “Silent Oil Spills.” Over 2.7 billion gallons (8.5 million MT) of used oil is lost to the environment EVERY 100 DAYS across the globe from petroleum based lubricants and motor oil.

“Studies completed in the last 20 years confirm that no spill is entirely benign. Further, there is no correlation between the size of a release and its impact. Instead, as in the real estate maxim, it’s all about “location, location, location.” [3]

“The available information shows that used motor oil is a very dangerous polluting product. As a consequence of its chemical composition, world-wide dispersion and effects on the environment, used motor oil must be considered a serious environmental problem.” [4] “Most current lubricants contain petroleum base stocks, which are toxic to environment and difficult to dispose of after use.” [5]

“Significant environmental benefits would result from the adoption by lubricating oil manufacturers of a “design for environment” philosophy in formulating their products.” [6] “The largest single potential market for lubricants, crankcase oils, has not yet developed a product qualified to meet industry standards.” [7]

Until Now!

Biosynthetic Base Oils developed by Biosynthetic Technologies offer lubricating oil manufacturers a technically superior product with significant environmental benefits.   It also offers formulators a valuable tool they can use to formulate products able to meet industry and regulatory standards.


Here is a closer look at the widespread scope of the multimedia environmental challenges created from the use of petroleum derived motor oils and industrial lubricants:

RESOURCE CONSERVATION

WATER–

Over 40% of the pollution in America’s waterways is from used motor oil. [8] “Used oil is the single largest source of oil pollution in the U.S. harbor and water ways, at 385 million gallons (1.2 million MT) per year …” [9] By far, the greatest cause of oil in our oceans comes from drains and urban street runoff. Much of this is from improper disposal of engine oil. [10]

40% of all lakes and streams are too polluted to use for fishing or swimming in the United States. Oil, hazardous toxins and disease-causing agents contaminate waterways and drinking water and can kill people, animals and plants. [11] The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that over 200 million gallons (629 thousand MT) of motor oil are tossed in the trash, spilled on the ground or poured down drains and sewers annually. This oil eventually ends up in our waterways, as rainwater or melting snow carry it to the nearest water body. [12]

Air pollution, mainly from cars and industry, places hundreds of tons of hydrocarbons into the oceans each year. Particles settle, and rain washes hydrocarbons from the air into the oceans. [13]

“Using alternative products instead of toxic substances drastically reduces the presence of toxics in stormwater and receiving waters.” [14] The term Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant is used by the EPA to describe those lubricants that have been demonstrated to meet standards for biodegradability, toxicity and bioaccumulation potential that minimize their likely adverse consequences in the aquatic environment, compared to conventional lubricants.

Biodegradability is a measure of the breakdown of a chemical (or a chemical mixture) by a micro-organism. Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B biodegrades, if released into the environment, at a rate of 89.5% in 28 days. Motor oil formulated with 84% Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B biodegrades at a rate of 82.9% in 28 days before use, and 79.8% in 28 days after use (OECD 310B) Used motor oil formulated with petroleum typically biodegrades at less than half that rate.

AQUATIC LIFE–
“One gallon of used oil can create an eight-acre slick on surface water, threatening fish, waterfowl and other aquatic life.” [15] “Films of oil on the surface of water prevent the replenishment of dissolved oxygen, impair photosynthetic processes, and block sunlight.” [16]

Toxic effects of used oil on freshwater and marine organisms vary, but significant long-term effects have been found at concentrations of 310 ppm in several freshwater fish species and as low as 1 ppm in marine life forms. [17] Almost half of the species listed as endangered or threatened are water-dependent. Improving and protecting water quality becomes important if we are to protect endangered species. [18]

An Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant must demonstrate low toxicity to aquatic organisms. Independent tests of motor oil formulated with 84% Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B, both before and after use in an automobile were performed (OECD 203 Fish, Acute Toxicity). The fresh oil showed an LC50 > 10,000 mg/L and the used oil was 9,375 mg/L. The US EPA considers anything with an LC50>100 to be “practically nontoxic.” Petroleum-based oils have a greater aquatic toxicity to biota in the marine food chain compared to Biosynthetic Base Oil.

The propensity of a substance to bioaccumulate is another characteristic of a lubricant that is considered in determining if a lubricant is an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant. Bioaccumulation is the build-up of chemicals within the tissues of an organism over time, defined by the EPA as a test material with a log Pow of less than 3 or greater than 7 (OECD 107 and OECD 117). Independent test results on Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B indicate a log Pow >7 meaning it is not bioaccumulative.

Mineral oils have a high potential for bioaccumulation and a measureable toxicity toward marine organisms. In contrast, Biosynthetic Base Oils derived from renewable oils degrade faster, have a smaller residual, do not bioaccumulate and have a lower toxicity to marine organisms.

SOURCE REDUCTION / POLLUTION PREVENTION–
The United States Pollution Prevention Act defines “source reduction” as any practice which: reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal; and reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants. [19]

Waste oil generation and disposal are a constant challenge. For example, “waste oil remains the largest-single waste stream generated in California, and waste oil and oil contaminated waste together constitute over one third of all manifested waste in California.” [20] Pollution prevention is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream. [21]

Biosynthetic Base Oil provides a valuable source reduction/pollution prevention tool. Because of the excellent oxidative stability of these oils and other performance characteristics, full synthetic motor oils formulated with Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B, enable motorists to extend the time between oils changes – known as an oil change intervals. The average oil change interval in the United States is less than 5,000 miles. Numerous automakers now allow intervals of 10,000 miles or more and a few full synthetic motor oil products are guaranteed for 15,000 to 25,000 mile intervals.

The State of California has long recognized the economic benefits, as well as the performance and environmental benefits of synthetic lubricants (longer useful life and increased fuel efficiency) and by extension even greater benefits from biosynthetic lubricants. “Fleet managers can further extend oil change intervals by using higher quality oil and by using oil analysis. Routine oil analysis indicates that many current synthetic oils effectively protect engines from wear with oil change intervals at 15,000 miles.” [22] Economic benefits are, “…increased further from three additional factors: labor savings for skipped oil changes, reduced engine wear, and higher vehicle availability in the field.” [23] By using around one-third as much lubricant, disposal costs will be similarly reduced.

“The long term savings associated with their use [synthetics] and extended oil drain intervals will ultimately save the State money and help reduce the State’s dependence on petroleum.” [24]

“The California Department of General Services (DGS), in conjunction with the State Mobile Equipment Council, will recommend changes to the State preventative maintenance policy and incorporate extended oil change intervals—thus decreasing the petroleum consumption in the State fleet. This is a cost savings solution.” [25]

California State Management Memo MM 12-06 acknowledges that synthetic motor oil and lubricants can help reduce the fleet’s petroleum consumption and protect the environment. [26] Other states and countries have or are developing similar requirements.

Even with full synthetic lubricants, large quantities of waste oil are still lost to the environment. “About one billion gallons (3.15 million MT) of oil sold annually is regarded as “unrecoverable” (i.e., burned, leaked, consumed in use, or otherwise separated from the recoverable oil).” [27] The products formulated from Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B retain the benefits of synthetic petroleum derived oils, but ensure the portion of oil that may be lost to the environment is a more Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant.

This innovative base oil technology can prevent pollution before it begins and ensure the oils that do end up in the environment are more environmentally friendly – leaving our homes, schools, workplaces and natural resources cleaner and safer than possible with current lubricant technology.

SOIL–

Motor oil can have an incredibly detrimental effect on the environment, particularly to plants that depend on healthy soil to grow. There are three main ways that motor oil affects plants: contaminating water supplies, contaminating soil, and poisoning plants. [28]

One gallon of spilled motor oil can: render a four-acre area of soil unusable for planting for decades. [29] Oil dumped on land reduces soil productivity. [30] Improperly disposed used oil can end up in landfills, sewers, back yards, or storm drains. In all of these cases, soil, groundwater and even drinking water may be contaminated. [31]

Because of the toxicity and slow biodegradation of petroleum, its negative effects can last a long time and can kill the microbes necessary to break down the pollutants. By contrast, biodegradable oils like Biosynthetic Base Oils result in a process called biostimulation where the natural processes that decompose the contaminants are accelerated as microbes already in the soil are stimulated. These microbes feed on the biobased material and reproduce and have emerged as an effective treatment at environmental waste sites.

PUBLIC HEALTH

“Public Health can be seriously threatened if oil is disposed of improperly or if it enters the water or air.” [32]  – United States Environmental Protection Agency

POTABLE WATER

[Motor] Oil is one of the most common water pollutants in the world, primarily because of how much is used on a daily basis. Spills, leaks and improper disposal lead to oil seeping into our water supply and contaminating it. [33] Concentrations of 50 to 100 parts per million (ppm) of used oil can foul sewage treatment processes. [34]

Used oil poured down your sewer line can damage your community’s water treatment system – contaminating your drinking water and costing you money. [35] “In fact, oil actually kills the good bacteria that a treatment plant uses to purify sewage.” [36] This pollution also finds its way into underground aquifers that supply our drinking water, so reducing it is a human health measure and could also save municipalities millions of dollars a year in drinking water treatment facilities and operational expenses. [37]

 

“Oil improperly disposed of in landfills, ditches, waterways, or dumped on the ground or down storm sewers can migrate into surface and ground water. It takes only one gallon of oil to contaminate one million gallons of drinking water (USEPA, 2000). [38] That is the year supply of drinking water for 50 people. “Human taste is very sensitive to oil and, depending on the individual, a concentration between 0.005 and 0.5 pounds in 100,000 gallons of water will produce water which will be described as having a bad taste.” [39]

“Environmentally preferable” means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. [40] As mentioned above, biobased oils don’t kill the microbes that breakdown the pollution – they stimulate their growth. Also, biobased oils will not ruin the taste of drinking water like petroleum and they will degrade faster, have a smaller residual and will not bioaccumulate.

 

AIR QUALITY–

Around 4 billion gallons (12.6 million MT) of used petroleum based lubricants are collected and burned as fuel each year. “The most common end use for used oil is burning for energy recovery. Currently, 85 percent of used oil recovered in the U.S. is burned for energy recovery.” [41] Changing to less carbon dioxide intensive fuels reduces the emissions and contributes to climate protection in the short-term. For a long-term climate protection the only alternatives are zero-carbon energy resources such as sustainable-used biomass and other renewable types of energy. [42]

At 78%, Biosynthetic Base Oil products have the highest Percent Renewable Caron (PRC) content of any comparable high-performance base oil in industry. Based on the commonly accepted approach that combustion of biofuels does not contribute to a net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere, burning used oil that is biobased would certainly result in a reduction of atmospheric pollutants.

There are generally only two categories of options available to reduce transportation GHG emissions. Either decarbonize the fuel and lubricants, or reduce their consumption. Some decarbonized fuel technologies and fuel reduction strategies will take decades to be phased in, as existing vehicle fleets are converted to newer vehicles equipped with the new technologies.

Biosynthetic Technologies’ lubricant base oils exist today as fully certified drop-in alternatives, able to work in the surviving vehicle stock, that both decarbonize the lubricant and reduce fuel consumption. Motor oil formulated with 35% Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B shows fuel economy gains in the Mercedes M111 Fuel Economy Test of 3.05% relative to the industry reference oil. This would result in significant economic benefit to the typical consumer, and would reduce that individual consumer’s carbon footprint with a C02 reduction of over 500 lbs. each year.


Motor oil formulated with 35% Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B shows fuel economy gains in the Mercedes M111 Fuel Economy Test of 3.05% relative to the industry reference oil. This would result in significant economic benefit to the typical consumer, and would reduce that individual consumer’s carbon footprint with a C02 reduction of over 500 lbs. each year.

EMISSIONS–

A recent Life Cycle Analysis of Biosynthetic Base Oil shows a nearly 80% reduction in GHG emissions compared with similar petroleum based synthetic oils, [43] with technical performance qualities similar, or superior to other synthetic lubricants. As such, the use of these Biosynthetic Base Oils can significantly reduce the impact on the generation of GHGs currently generated from motor oils and lubricants.

About half of all used motor oil is properly collected and recycled. The most common method to recycle used motor oil is by burning it for energy recovery. The potential zinc, cadmium, copper and lead emissions from used oil-derived fuels from California are on the order of emissions from all of California’s major stationary sources combined. [44]

The California Air Resource Board’s (ARB) 2008 Scoping Plan acknowledged the potential to reduce engine load via lower friction oil [45] as a component of vehicle efficiency measures. Lower friction translates to better fuel economy, a goal of lubricant development for decades. Synthetic lubricants are widely recognized to improve fuel economy, and independent testing shows motor oils formulated with Biosynthetic Base Oil SE7B achieve a 3% fuel economy gain relative to the industry reference “conventional” oils. (Mercedes Benz M11 Fuel Economy Test)

Biosynthetic Base Oils are made with a base stock of uniformly sized molecules, resulting in less evaporation and less thickening of the oil, which allows for extended oil drain intervals (longer use). Reducing frequency of engine oil changes further reduces petroleum use and resulting GHG emissions.

Conventional petroleum motor oils, including re-refined oils, tend to thicken during use, increasing the viscosity (thickness). As the viscosity increases, the motor oil creates drag in the movement of engine parts, called “parasitic load.” This increasing drag reduces fuel efficiency – increasing the petroleum fuel consumption, and increasing GHGs.  Test results show that full synthetic oils, including Biosynthetic Base Oils retain their viscosity over time, reducing this drop in fuel efficiency during the life of the oils.

Through the use of Biosynthetic Base Oils, transportation’s global environmental footprint could be significantly decreased.

RECYCLING / RE-REFINING–

Most used motor oil is burned as a fuel, with the balance being re-refined into downshifted base oil used to make “conventional” motor oils that lack the fuel economy benefits and source reduction opportunities offered by synthetic or biosynthetic oils. Many regulatory entities have given a strong preference to the use of re-refined products, but evidence against that position is mounting.

The U.S. Department of Energy reported in 2006 that in [a] European Commission document the priority to re-refining has been removed. It notes that “Recent analysis, using the life-cycle approach, has shown that the priority given to regeneration of waste oils over use as a fuel is not justified by any clear environmental advantage.” [46]

A 2013 State of California study says re-refining used motor oil does not reduce the GHG emissions or global warming when compared to burning the used oil as fuel. It is also noteworthy that re-refining used oil changes the pollutants released, and that according to the UCSB Final Report, re-refining increases the potential for human cancers. [47]

Used lubricant remains the largest-single waste stream generated in California, [48] and while source reduction continues to top the waste management hierarchy, [49] motor oils and lubricants formulated with biosynthetic base oils can reduce the initial use of petroleum and can be recycled and re-refined along with existing petroleum products.

In a 2010 Market Opportunity Summary on Soy-Based Lubricants, the United Soybean Board reports “Testing by Safety-Kleen has shown soybean-based lubricants can be disposed and re-refined along with conventional mineral-oil based lubricants.” And, “These results suggest that incorporation of plant oil in motor oils should not impact the used motor oil re-refining process.”  The full report can be found by clicking here: The Impact of Oleic Soybean Oil on the Used Oil Re-refining Process

An additional study was completed in April 2016, that provides further evidence of the re-refinability of plant-based oils. Click here for the full report: Advanced Biolubricants and Used Oil Re-refining

This testing is consistent with testing performed on behalf of Biosynthetic Technologies and other bio-lubricant makers.

 

GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMS AND POLICIES

With over 10 billion gallons (3.15 million MT) of used lubricants being lost to the environment each year, environmental cleanup costs place an enormous burden on society.

“Petroleum based lubricants, which are the leading type of base oil used in this industry, are poorly degradable and represent an environmental hazard when released.” [50] U.S. drivers alone produce about 1.3 billion gallons of dirty used motor oil annually. [51] “Using Biobased oils would help reduce dependence on foreign oil and potentially provide a biodegradable oil product that is more environmentally friendly compared to petroleum base oils.” [52]

With over 10 billion gallons (3.15 million MT) of used lubricants being lost to the environment each year, environmental cleanup costs place an enormous burden on society. “Petroleum based lubricants, which are the leading type of base oil used in this industry, are poorly degradable and represent an environmental hazard when released.” U.S. drivers alone produce about 1.3 billion gallons of dirty used motor oil annually. “Using Biobased oils would help reduce dependence on foreign oil and potentially provide a biodegradable oil product that is more environmentally friendly compared to petroleum base oils.”

“Environmentally preferable” means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. [53] Starting with a carbon neutral, biodegradable and non-toxic petroleum alternative like Biosynthetic Base Oils would certainly have “…a lesser impact on the environment and human health when compared to other products that serve the same purpose.” [54]

Several government programs and policies acknowledge the multiple benefits of these technologies:

VESSEL GENERAL PERMIT – United States

In March 2013 US EPA introduced the Vessel General Permit (VGP) to authorize and regulate discharges incidental to the normal discharge of operations of commercial vessels. The VGP became effective in December 2013 and requires vessels to use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) in all oil-to- sea interfaces.   EALs are “those lubricants that have been demonstrated to meet standards for biodegradability, toxicity and bioaccumulation potential that minimize their likely adverse consequences in the aquatic environment, compared to conventional lubricants” and include both vegetable oils and synthetic esters derived from bio-based materials.  Biosynthetic Base Oils are synthetic esters derived from bio-based materials and meet these requirements.

CLEAN WATER ACT – United States

The VGP was a result of lawsuits brought for non-compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (aka the Clean Water Act) the objective of which is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.  The act also calls for programs aimed at control of nonpoint sources of pollution to be developed and implemented in an expeditious manner.

Section 311 of the act “Oil and Hazardous Substance Liability” prohibits any discharge of oil into or upon the waters and includes not only vessels but specifically motor vehicles.

SMARTWAY – United States

The U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership extolls: “Synthetic lubricants in the engine crankcase, rear axle, and transmission can improve fuel economy by about 3 percent, saving nearly 485 gallons of fuel and eliminating 5 metric tons of greenhouse emissions for a typical combination truck each year.” [55]

BIOPREFERRED – United States

The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred Program sets a procurement standard for federal agencies and federal contractors for the purchase of bio-based products, including a minimum 25% bio-content for motor oils. [56] As of June, 2014, federal agencies and their contractors have mandatory purchasing requirements for crankcase oils that are at least 25 percent biobased. Biobased motor oils provide an alternative for the petroleum-based motor oils that dominate the market.

Manufacturers of engine oils which meet BioPreferred biobased content requirements may post company, product, performance testing, and contact information in the BioPreferred Program’s web-based catalog.   Biosynthetic Technologies’ motor oil products are certified by the BioPreferred Program and carry the same American Petroleum Institute (API) certification as petroleum based oils, and will not void warranties.

The BioPreferred Program is well acquainted with both the technology and Biosynthetic Technologies, a technology transfer partner of the USDAs Agricultural Research Service. Through their mission to promote sustainable purchasing, they are working with Biosynthetic Technologies to make government agencies and federal contractors aware of these breakthroughs and encourage their use.

Executive Order 13149, April 21, 2000 – United States

Sec. 403. Procurement of Environmentally Preferable Motor Vehicle Products

Consistent with Executive Order 13101, Federal agencies are encouraged to use biobased motor vehicle products [emphasis added] when such products are reasonably available and meet applicable performance standards.

Executive Order 13149 was revoked in favor of Executive Order 13423.  In Executive Order 13693 (described below), President Obama states, “I have determined that this order will achieve equal or better environmental or energy efficiency results than Executive order 13423.  Therefore Executive Order 13423 of January 24, 2007, is revoked.  As technology has progressed and environmental science has become more accurate, the recent Executive Order 13693 — “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade” has become necessary and represents the most current roadmap for Federal Sustainability.

“Executive Order, 13693 – Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade” from March 19, 2015 has the following policy requirements for biobased products:

(i) promote sustainable acquisition and procurement by ensuring that each of the following environmental performance and sustainability factors are included to the maximum extent practicable for all applicable procurements in the planning, award, and execution phases of the acquisition by:

(i) meeting statutory mandates that require purchase preference for:

(A) recycled content products designated by EPA;

(B) energy and water efficient products and services, such as ENERGY STAR qualified and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated products, identified by EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE); and

(C) BioPreferred and biobased designated products designated by the United States Department of Agriculture;

 

EU – Accelerating the Development of the Market for Bio-based Products in Europe 2007

Spurred by a desire to reduce the use of mineral oils in the EU, work has been ongoing for the past decade around initiatives on bio-based products, and specifically around bio-lubricants.

A report was produced in 2007 titled Accelerating the Development of the Market for Bio-Based Products in Europe which was composed in preparation of the communication, A Lead Market Initiative for Europe (LMI 2007-2011). In the report, bio-lubricants were specifically mentioned as a promising product group.  Highlighted was the fact that 50% of the total lubricants market is automotive, but bio-lubricant use is low. The report determined that total market potential could be up to 90%.  The stated strategic and societal policy interest was to “reduce pollution of petrochemical lubricants in [the] automotive sector.”  Information on the Lead Market Initiative can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/biotechnology/bio-based-products/index_en.htm

EU – CEN/TC 19 WG 33 N 172 Liquid Petroleum Products — Bio-Lubricants — Criteria and Requirements of Bio-Lubricants and Bio-based Lubricants

A general definition for “Bio-Lubricants” has been missing in Europe, so standardization work started under the LMI Mandate M/430. Details can be found at the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/mandates/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.detail&id=408

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) established a CEN Working Group ‘Bio-Lubricants’ (CEN/TC/WG33) to harmonise the various requirements for bio-lubricants. https://standards.cen.eu/dyn/www/f?p=CENWEB:6:::NO:::

WG33 prepared a Technical Report (TR) concerning “Recommendations for terminology and characterization of bio-lubricants and bio-based lubricants.”  CEN Technical Report 16227 “Bio-Lubricants” was published in 2011 and includes:

  • Level of renewable raw materials >25% (ASTM D-6866)
  • Biodegradability of >60% for oils and >50% for lubricants (OECD 301)
  • Toxicity: should not be labelled “hazardous to the environment’ (1999/45/EG)
  • Performance: ‘fit for purpose.’
  • All lubricants bearing an EU Ecolabel are ‘bio-lubricants’ by definition

These standards are developed through a process of collaboration among stakeholders and they are approved and published by recognized standardization bodies.  CEN standard prEN 16807  – Liquid petroleum products – Bio-lubricants – Criteria and requirements of bio-lubricants and bio-based lubricants, was finalized in 2015.  The final ballot is running and approval is anticipated in 2016

https://standards.cen.eu/dyn/www/f?p=204:110:0::::FSP_PROJECT,FSP_LANG_ID:41885,25&cs=1A6BC80F666420E79B92AEB8CBCF3A2CB

The work completed and the progress made over the course of the last decade are seen by many as pre-conditions to mandating the use of bio-lubricants in environmentally sensitive applications and could be based on the existing EU EcoLabel for Lubricants (EEL).

Policy makers all over the world have an opportunity towards progress on multiple goals and priorities by facilitating the rapid commercialization of Biosynthetic Base Oils.  By law, regulation and executive directive, governments on every level are working towards ambitious sustainability, greenhouse gas reduction and bio-based purchasing goals.

CONCLUSION

Biosynthetic Base Oils are technically and environmentally superior to many petroleum products and should be given a chance to compete in the marketplace without the interference of special interests in the petroleum industry.

Engine crankcase oils utilizing Biosynthetic Base Oils have passed all current automaker test requirements, and have been awarded API (American Petroleum Institute) certification for use in new cars. Biosynthetic Base Oils have also proven to work in displacing petroleum oils in other industrial lubricants such as greases, metalworking fluids and marine vessel lubricants.

It has been well understood for decades that there are significant environmental problems associated with the inadvertent and sometimes illegal discharge of petroleum derived lubricants into the environment.  Lubricant formulators have long sought a way to meet the demanding performance requirements of the lubricant with more environmentally acceptable lubricant feed stocks.

Historically, bio-lubricants based on vegetable oils have been unable to overcome their inherent instability based on the presence of poly-unsaturated products in the natural oil, leaving them unable to compete with products based on mineral oils.  The technological breakthrough achieved by  Biosynthetic Technologies capitalizes on the excellent lubricating properties of these plant based oils while retaining the environmental benefits,  opening up the largest single potential market for biobased lubricants – engine crankcase oils.

There are generally only two categories of options available to reduce transportation GHG emissions.  Decarbonize the fuel and lubricants, or reduce their consumption.  Some decarbonized fuel technologies and fuel reduction strategies will take decades to be phased in, as existing vehicle fleets are converted to newer vehicles equipped with the new technologies. Biosynthetic Technologies’ lubricant base oils exist today as fully certified drop-in alternatives, able to work in the surviving vehicle stock, that both decarbonize the lubricant and reduce fuel consumption.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] Global Used Oil Material Balance, 2011 Kline & Co.

[2] http://chartsbin.com/view/mgz

[3] Oil in the Sea III Inputs, Fates, and Effects (2003)

[4] “To the Greatest Extent Possible”: Do-it-yourselfers and the Recovery of Used Oil and Filters, Produced under contract by: Public Research Institute, San Francisco State University, October 2005

Source: Vazquez-Duhalt, Rafeal, “Environmental Impact of Used Motor Oil,” The Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 79, 1989, page 1.

http://goo.gl/pAjqBy

[5] Erhan, S.V., Sharma, B.K., Perez, J.M., 2006.  Oxidation and low temperature stability of vegetable oil-based lubricants. http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/1082/PDF

[6] Assessment of Opportunities to Increase the Recovery and Recycling Rates of Waste Oils, Energy Systems Division Argonne National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, D.J. Graziano and E.J. Daniels, August 1995

http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/34/33500.pdf

[7] Bio-Based Lubricants, A Market Opportunity Study Update, Prepared for the United Soybean Board, November 2008 By: Bart J. Bremmer & Dr. Larry Plonsker

http://soynewuses.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/BioBasedLubricantsMarketStudy.pdf

[8] State of California, Department of Health Services, Toxic Substances Control Program. The No Waste Anthology. Department of Health Services, Office of Public Government Liaison – Education and Information Unit, 400 P Street, P.O. Box 942732, Sacramento, CA 94234-7320

http://www.leavenworthrecycles.org/209.html

http://www.deq.state.ms.us/mdeq.nsf/page/Recycling_UsedMotorOil?OpenDocument

[9] http://www.allthewaytotheocean.com/about.facts.html

[10] The Threat of Pollution and What you Can do about it http://see-the-sea.org/topics/pollution/toxic/ToxPol.htm

[11] http://protectingwater.com/index.html

[12] http://www.hocking.oh.nacdnet.org/newsletter.htm

[13] http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_oil_pollution.html

[14] http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm?action=browse&Rbutton=detail&bmp=104

[15] http://www.allthewaytotheocean.com/about.facts.html

[16] How to Set Up a Local Program to Recycle Used Oil, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OS–305), EPA530-SW-89-039A, May 1989    http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/usedoil/facts.htm

[17] How to Setup a Local Program to Recycle Used Oil – EPA A530-SW-89-039A http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/pubs/89039a.pdf

[18] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Issues/WaterQuality.cfm

[19] http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/p2policy/definitions.htm

[20] California Hazardous Waste Source Reduction Requirement – How it Works, Nabil H. Yacoub, Ph.D., Cal/EPA-Department of Toxic Substances Control, 2/4/2010 CUPA Conference

[21] http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/p2policy/definitions.htm

[22] California Action Plan for Reducing or displacing the Consumption of Petroleum Products by the State Fleet and First Annual Progress Report,  Page 20, April 2010

http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/ofa/AB236Report2010.pdf

[23]  Ibid, Page 22

[24]  Ibid, Page 23

[25] California Action Plan for Reducing or displacing the Consumption of Petroleum Products by the State Fleet and First Annual Progress Report,  Page 21, April 2010 http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/ofa/AB236Report2010.pdf

[26] State Management Memo MM 12-06, Reconditioned, Used, or Remanufactured Automotive Parts: Re-fined or Synthetic Motor Oil and Lubricants, 18, May 2012 http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/osp/sam/mmemos/MM12_06.pdf

[27] Assessment of Opportunities to Increase the Recovery and Recycling Rates of Waste Oils, Energy Systems Division Argonne National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, D.J. Graziano and E.J. Daniels, August 1995 http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/34/33500.pdf

[28] http://www.ehow.com/info_8751246_effect-motor-oil-plants.html

[29] http://www.hocking.oh.nacdnet.org/newsletter.htm

[30] How to Set Up a Local Program to Recycle Used Oil, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OS–305), EPA530-SW-89-039A, May 1989 http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/usedoil/facts.htm

[31] http://www.recycleoil.org/faqs/index.html#12

[32]http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm?action=browse&Rbutton=detail&bmp=111

[33] http://www.ehow.com/facts_5798659_car-motor-oil-pollution-information.html

[34] How to Set Up a Local Program to Recycle Used Oil, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OS–305), EPA530-SW-89-039A, May 1989

http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/usedoil/facts.htm

[35] http://www.recycleoil.org/faqs/index.html#12

[36] http://www.smgov.net/Departments/OSE/Categories/Hazardous_Materials/Oil_Recycling___Re-Refined_Oil_FAQs.aspx

[37] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-to-keep-waste-oil-out

[38]http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm?action=browse&Rbutton=detail&bmp=110

[39] 1981 Report to Congress listing waste oil as a hazardous waste  Source: Clean Environment Commission, Canada, “Preliminary Report on Contamination of Underground Water Sources by Refined Oil Products, “Ground Water, Col. 44, Jan./Feb. 1976, p. 37 Source: Clean Environment Commission, Canada, “Preliminary Report on Contamination of Underground Water Sources by Refined Oil Products, “Ground Water, Col. 44, Jan./Feb. 1976, p. 37

http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=2000OK5N.txt

[40] U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Fossil Energy  Used Oil Re-Refining Study to Address Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 1838 July 2006           http://fossil.energy.gov/epact/used_oil_report.pdf

[41] “Re-refined Oil”.  This publication is produced by the “Buy Recycled” Campaign of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and its affiliate the Municipal Waste Management Association in cooperation with the National Recycling Coalition’s Buy Recycled Business Alliance.  The Conference of Mayors Buy Recycled Campaign is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/32/31984.htm

[42] Specific Carbon Dioxide Emissions of Various Fuels

http://www.volker-quaschning.de/datserv/CO2-spez/index_e.php

[43] “Life Cycle Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Biosynthetic Base Oil (BBO) compared  to Poly-Alpha Olefin (PAO) base Oil” By Dustin Mulvaney, Ph.D., EcoShift Consulting  February 3, 2014 /wp-content/uploads/Biosynthetic-Technologies-GHG-LCA-Report-Feb-3-20142-1.pdf

[44] State of California, Department of Health Services, Toxic Substances Control Program. The No Waste Anthology. Department of Health Services, Office of Public Government Liaison – Education and Information Unit, 400 P Street, P.O. Box 942732, Sacramento, CA 94234-7320

[45] “CLIMATE CHANGE SCOPING PLAN a framework for change” December 2008 Pursuant to AB 32, Page 51

http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/document/adopted_scoping_plan.pdf

[46] The U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Fossil Energy Used Oil Re-Refining Study to Address Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 1838 July 2006  http://www.fe.doe.gov/epact/used_oil_report.pdf

[47] “Critical Review of Used Oil Life Cycle Analysis.” (2013): August 2013

http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/publications/Documents/1468/20131468.pdf

[48]“ California Hazardous Waste Source Reduction Requirement – How it Works”, Nabil H. Yacoub, Ph.D., Cal/EPA-Department of Toxic Substances Control, 2/4/2010 CUPA Conference

[49] Public Resource Code Section 40051

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=prc&group=40001-41000&file=40050-40063

[50] Bio-Based Lubricants, A Market Opportunity Study Update, Prepared for the United Soybean Board, November 2008 By: Bart J. Bremmer & Dr. Larry Plonsker  http://soynewuses.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/BioBasedLubricantsMarketStudy.pdf

[51] Is Motor Oil a Renewable Resource? Re-refiners Say Yes , Brian Handwerk for National Geographic News, Published June 1, 2011 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2011/06/110601-green-motor-oil-recycling/

[52] U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Fossil Energy Used Oil Re-Refining Study to Address Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 1838 July 2006   http://fossil.energy.gov/epact/used_oil_report.pdf

[53] U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Fossil Energy  Used Oil Re-Refining Study to Address Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 1838 July 2006

Source: Executive Order 13101, September 14, 1998, “Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition”  (E.O. 13423 signed January 24, 2007 revokes E.O. 13101 and 13148) http://fossil.energy.gov/epact/used_oil_report.pdf

[54] California Department of General Services: Best Practices Manual

[55]  “Low-Viscosity Lubricants: A Glance at Clean Freight Strategies” Smartway® Transport Partnership U.S. EPA

http://www.epa.gov/smartway/forpartners/documents/trucks/techsheets-truck/420f12076.pdf

[56]  USDA BioPrefered®, Product Categories (Engine Crankcase Oil)

http://www.biopreferred.gov/BioPreferred/faces/pages/ProductCategories.xhtml