Increased awareness of preserving the environment has motivated the development of a wide variety of environmentally compatible products. Such products include environmentally compatible lubricants. Sale and use of these types of lubricants illustrates diligence by the lubricant manufacturer, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and the consumer in contributing to a cleaner environment. The use of this type of lubricant could enhance the image of the lubricant manufacturer and vendor as well as the equipment manufacturer who employs such a fluid. To base such a lubricant on a vegetable oil creates a product environmentally friendly by its farming origin and its ability to readily biodegrade if released.
No machinery is so uniquely suited to using vegetable oil based lubricants as agricultural equipment. Since this equipment is particularly close to the environment, the lubricant can easily come in contact with the soil, ground water, and crops. The opportunity exists to create a continuous cycle in which the agricultural equipment is lubricated by oil from a plant growing in the field being cultivated by that same equipment.
This situation prompted Lubrizol and a leading OEM to participate in a joint project, which has resulted in the first successful rapeseed oil (canola) based tractor hydraulic fluid. This fluid is a Universal Tractor Transmission Oil (UTTO) and is suitable for lubricating the transmission, axle, and hydraulic system.
This paper will expand on these subjects, will also discuss the advantages of using rapeseed oil, and present data which demonstrates the lubricant's performance and biodegradability.