Comprehensive coverage

Lubricants containing only natural ingredients

A team of researchers from the University of Huelva in Spain has developed an environmentally friendly lubricant based on ricin oil (from the castor plant, ricin) and cellulose fibers

A mechanical system that needs a lubricant
A mechanical system that needs a lubricant

A team of researchers from the University of Huelva in Spain has developed an environmentally friendly lubricant based on ricin oil (from the castor plant, ricin) and cellulose, according to an article published in the scientific journal Green Chemistry. The new material does not include any of the ingredients used today to produce common industrial lubricants.

"The goal of this research was to develop a product that could be used as a lubricant (grease) and that would consist of only natural materials, so that it could be biodegradable," says researcher José María Franco, a chemical engineer at the university and one of the authors of the article.

Environmentally friendly lubricants are "oleogels" (oleogels) consisting of plant-derived cellulose and ricin oil (derived from the castor bean plant) as the basis of the material. The researchers explain that these innovative preparations are "substitutes for normal lubricants such as grease, which may cause environmental pollution if they are released into it."
Industrial lubricants contain non-biodegradable components, such as synthetic oils or petroleum derivatives, which are hardened using metal-containing soaps or polymer derivatives (synthetic polymer family). These are currently the materials with the best performance, but they also pose many problems in the field of environmental protection.

Millions of tons of industrial and hydraulic oils are spilled into rivers, seas and land every year. These mineral-based oils may contaminate the water sources for a period of over a hundred years, and may prevent the growth of trees and important crops and be toxic to humans.

Only partial solutions have been found to date for this problem, such as converting the mineral oil to vegetable oil, but no effective substitutes have been found for the metal-containing hardeners, which are also very polluting. The new "green" grease provides a solution to this, although the scientists admit that "further research is still required" to improve its lubricity and durability over time.

The researchers note that the new material "has a level of mechanical stability similar to that of existing lubricants and is resistant to high temperatures and has a stable viscosity, although they observed cases in which the material leaked in large quantities when strong forces were applied to it at high temperatures." When this material is used in bearings, it is important that it does not flow out easily and this is to allow it to do its job for a long time.

The researchers intend to continue to investigate these aspects with the aim of finding a way to balance the use of natural ingredients to make the grease while improving its lubricating abilities.
In any case, the scientists were able to prove that lubricants containing only natural components based on cellulose are not only environmentally friendly, but also easy to produce and require simpler equipment than that required to prepare the lubricants that exist today.

The news about the study

5 תגובות

  1. For 2 and 3 it is a lubricant for industrial uses (like grease or machine oil),
    It may be toxic, but grease is also not very healthy for us, and even more unhealthy for the soil and groundwater.

  2. to 2 (and 3). "The toxicity of ricin is 6,000 times higher than cyanide, 2,000 times that of cobra snake venom and 12,000 times higher" (Courtesy of Wikipedia).

  3. The trend of environmental planning is welcome and should be encouraged by the government

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.