ARS Scientists Just Say "No" to Petroleum by ProQuest


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									                                      From Lubricants to Packaging Materials

        ARS Scientists Just Say “No” to Petroleum

                creech!                         making biobased additives, ones suitable       biobased or conventional lubricants,” she
                  Few sounds are more nerve- for use in formulating greases; crankcase,        points out. And the novel additives meet
                wracking than the scraping of two-cycle, and marine engine oils; and hy-       all the standard criteria for a top-notch,
                metal on metal. It’s the job of draulic, transmission, and drilling fluids.    antifriction, antiwear additive, namely,
                lubricants to prevent that an-     The additives would be made from            impressive viscosity and liquidity, high
noying noise by making sure that—when the predominant fat molecules—triglyc-                   flashpoint, and stability despite tempera-
metal touches metal—everything moves erides—in natural oils of familiar crops                  ture extremes.
smoothly and quietly.                           like soybean, corn, or canola or from             In small-scale laboratory tests to evalu-
   Machines that have moving parts— lesser-knowns like pennycress, camelina,                   ate wear and friction, for example, the
your car’s engine or the hydraulic pump and crambe. Fully biodegradable, these                 plant-oil additives performed as well as or
of a huge earthmover, for instance— vegetable-oil-based additives are just                     better than commercial petroleum-based
almost always require lubricants. Most slightly darker, and somewhat thicker,                  additives. And since they’re fully biode-
lubricants are made of so-called “base than the clear, light-yellow cooking oils               gradable, proper disposal is fast, easy, and
oil” that’s blended with additives to boost used in home kitchens across America.              inexpensive.
performance.                                                     The additives would pro-         What’s more, the additives can be
   In the United States, the                                  vide an alternative to today’s   produced with the same equipment that
demand for additives, al-                                     petroleum-based products—        chemical companies already have in place
ready at nearly 2 billion                                     and a potentially profitable     for making traditional additives.
pounds a year, is expected                                    market for growers in the           It’s no wonder that several leading
to increase at a respectable 2                                Midwest and elsewhere.           makers of petroleum-lubricant additives
percent a year for the next 5                                    Erhan did the work while      have already expressed an interest in the
years. That’s why Sevim Z.                                    a chemist at the ARS Na-         scientists’ process for making the biobased
Erhan and colleagues have                                     tional Center for Agricul-       additives.
developed a new process for                                   tural Utilization Research          Erhan and coinvestigators Brajendra K.
                                                              in Peoria, Illinois. She’s       Sharma of Pennsylvania State University-
                                                now director of the agency’s Eastern           University Park, and Atanu Adhvaryu,
NCAUR (D1643-1)
                                                Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor,          formerly with the university, describe the
                                                Pennsylvania.                                  technology in their U.S. patent, issued
                                                   The new-age additives, says Erhan,          in 2007. Importantly, the procedure and
                                                offer many benefits and, to date, no           the resulting ad
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