Environmentally acceptable lubricants
This project will provide guidance for the hydropower industry to make informed decisions about the adoption of environmentally acceptable lubricants and greases. The project will contribute with knowledge on the technical and environmental performance of a lubricant which is important to ensure sustainable, cost-effective and reliable production.
Use of the term environmentally acceptable lubricant (EAL) is controlled by a number of different labelling programs and standards, e.g. the European Ecolabel, Swedish standard SS155434 (hydraulic lubricants), swedish standard SS15547 for greases and the German Blue Angel. Normally, this means that for the adoption of the term EAL the lubricant needs to pass a number of different tests related to biodegradability, toxicity, bioaccumulation and depending on which standard/labelling program sometimes also renewable content. In addition, the use of the term bio-, e.g. biolubricant, is related to the amount of renewable content in the lubricant.
There is a wide range of different types of lubricants, fluids and greases that have been or are currently being adopted for use in hydropower industry. Yet, there are still uncertainties about the service life and performance over time for the different types of lubricants used. Furthermore, evaluation of the environmental properties is performed for unused lubricants and it is not known how the environmental properties are affected by the degradation of the lubricant over time. Thus, the objectives of this project is to:
- compare the technical performance of different types of environmentally acceptable lubricants and fluids; e.g. synthetic esters, vegetable oils, polyalkylene glycols, propylene glycol-water, glycerol-water and synthetic hydrocarbons.
- investigate the effect of lubricant degradation on the environmental properties.
- investigate the effect of lubricant degradation on the technical performance of the lubricant.
- develop new environmentally acceptable greases and compare the performance to commercially available environmentally acceptable greases from different base fluid groups.
- establish an environmentally acceptable lubricant selection guideline which can be used by the industry to make informed choices.