Especially in cosmetics and lubricants, a fast growing usage of high-oleic sunflower oils (HOSO) can be expected. The lubricant sector is huge in amount: in EU approximately 5 Mio. tons (Germany 1.1 Mio. t) of lubricants are consumed each year. Up to now, more or less refined mineral oils strongly dominate, only 2 % (Germany 4 %) of oil consumption are of vegetable oil origin. But consumption is growing pretty fast: compared to mineral oils, triglyceride or derived synthetic esters are superior in wear-reducing properties - they are the better performing lubricants. Besides technical aspects as driving forces, also the regulatory framework in the EU is more and more favouring the environmental friendly, readily biodegradable natural oils, for example in loss lubrification applications. Due to their high oxidative stability, HOSO are often favourable compared to other natural oils as base oils or additives in lubricants. Compared to mineral oil based lubricants, bio-lubes still facing disadvantages in product costs. But cost competitiveness can be achieved in considering total costs: depending from the application, total costs nevertheless can be even lower, because of their excellent performance: reduced oil consumption, lower maintenance costs (machines, tools), higher product quality, less working deseases. A great perspective reveal extreme-high oleic oils: they perform like synthetic esters (e.g. TMP-Trioleates), but are rather lower in price. The future utilisation of synthetic esters in lubricants is predicted to be strongly increasing (e.g. in 2000 market study from Frost & Sullivan), the growth can be already oberved today.
Lubricants based on HOSO:
  • Products: Glyceroltrioleate (HOSO), TMP-Trioleate, Oleylalcohol, Ethylhexyl-oleate, Isopropyloleate, Pentaerythroltetraoleate, Soaps (Na-, K-Oleate)
  • Used in: loss lubrication products, hydraulic fluids, metal working fluids, 2-stroke engine oils, compressor & vacuum pump oils, demoulding oils, greases etc.
  • Used as: basic oil, additive (anti-wear, eg. in water miscible metal working fluids), defoaming agens
  • Advantages:

  • Excellent anti-wear properties (friction reduction; superior to mineral oils)
  • High oxidative stability (high-temp. applications), medium low- temp. properties
  • High biodegradability; low toxicity , higher viscosity grades available
  • Performance comparable to synthetic esters in some specific applications (lower costs compared to synthetic esters)
  • Overview: Properties


    Bio-Lubricants: Guide to operating temperature range (Published by Lubrizol)