Blog – biodegradable lubricants

Biodegradable Lubricants – An Environmentally Safer Alternative to Traditional Industrial Lubricants

With the rise in natural resource-based industries being encouraged to monitor the impact and sustainability of the work completed in environmentally sensitive areas, the demand for more environmentally safe and efficient products has increased.

The KLONDIKE family of biodegradable lubricants is designed as an environmentally safer alternative to traditional industrial lubricants. KLONDIKE ENVIRO is an inherently biodegradable hydraulic fluid and KLONDIKE BIO is a readily biodegradable hydraulic fluid. Inherently biodegradable lubricants biodegrade by more than 20 per cent in 28 days and readily biodegradable lubricants biodegrade by more than 60 per cent in 28 days when tested according to OECD 301B standardized criteria

Readily Biodegradable Lubricants

Readily biodegradable lubricants must meet the ISO 9439 or OECD 301B standards. These standards state that a lubricant that has degraded by more than 60% within 28 days is readily biodegradable. The tests involve treating a lubricant sample with microorganisms in the presence of oxygen and measuring the CO2 produced by the microorganisms.

Additionally, the lubricant must be of “low toxicity.” There are a variety of tests used to determine toxicity. The KLONDIKE biodegradability range is non-toxic as established by the CEC/Sturm test method and meets OECD 203 requirements for aquatic toxicity.

Types of Biodegradable Base Stocks

Most biodegradable lubricants use vegetable oil, synthetic esters, polyalkylene glycols (PAGs), or a combination of these as base stocks.

Vegetable oils have been used previously when oil was in short supply. During World War I and World War II, the use of vegetable oils for fuel, lubricants, and greases increased due to rationing. Also, the oil embargos in the 1970’s brought needed attention to alternatives for petroleum oils. Cheap oil following Desert Storm made biodegradable oils too expensive to compete, but their popularity has risen as operators and end-users are faced with environmental concerns. Common vegetable oils used are soybean oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil. KLONDIKE BIO Anti-Wear Hydraulic Fluids are manufactured with the highest quality, ultra-pure biodegradable canola base oil and high performance ashless additives. Ashless additives are formulated without metallic additives (zinc-free) which are toxic and can be detrimentalto the natural environment through bioaccumulation.

Why are Biodegradable Lubricants Popular?

Biodegradable lubricants are highly popular in applications and industries where environmental and safety concerns are high. Marine and agricultural industries need these lubricants as contamination could have a lasting environmental impact. A single litre of oil could potentially pollute as much as 1 million litres of water. Some regulations require that preference be given in government procurement to biodegradable lubricants that do not harm consumers, operators, or the natural ecosystem in the event of a leak or spill.

The KLONDIKE biodegradable lubricants are highly stable for smooth operational efficiency, and highly resistant to oxidation and deposit formation for long service life, while providing an elevated level of environmental conservation and protection.  Learn more here.

KLONDIKE Lubricants Corporation is an independent Canadian company with oils and lubricants distribution facilities in:
Greater Vancouver, BC ● Edmonton, AB ● Winnipeg, MB ● Greater Toronto, ON ● Moncton, NB