Grasas y Aceites, Vol 62, No 1 (2011)

Vegetable oil basestocks for lubricants

Rafael Garcés
Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain

Enrique Martínez-Force
Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain

Joaquín J. Salas
Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain


The use of vegetable biodegradable basestocks for lubricant oils present several advantages over the much more extended mineral bases. These advantages refer to biodegradability, a renewable feedstock of local production, lubricant and viscosity index and lower costs than synthetic lubricant bases. Despite these benefits, their use in industry and motor vehicles is not yet extensive due their lower stability and higher pour points. Vegetable oils are esters of fatty acids and glycerol, and their physicochemical properties rely mainly on the composition of their acyl moieties. Thus, to assure the maximum levels of stability while maintaining acceptable behavior at low temperatures, monounsaturated fatty acids are preferred for this purpose. The presence of natural antioxidants also improves the properties of these vegetable based stocks as lubricants. These oils usually require additives to improve their viscosity value, oxidative stability and properties at low temperatures. In the present work, the different sources of vegetable oils appropriate for biolubricant production were reviewed. Their properties and the future improvement of the oil bases, oil based stock production, uses and additives are discussed.


Biodegradable; Lubricant additives; Lubricant; Monounsaturaed fatty acids; Vegetable basestocks

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