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Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/09/2012 -- Biolubricants are primarily triglyceride esters derived from plants and animals. Materials derived from vegetables are preferred for lubricant based oil. Common ones include high oleic canola oil, castor oil, palm oil, sunflower seed oil and rapeseed oil from vegetables, and tall oil from tree sources. Many vegetable oils are often hydrolyzed to yield acids which are subsequently combined selectively to form specialist synthetic esters. Other naturally derived lubricants include lanolin (wool grease, a natural water repellent).
Biolubricants are a very small part of the overall lubricant market, predominantly used in the US and Europe, as their high costs – over double the price of standard lubricants – limits their appeal elsewhere. Even within Europe, legislation and regulation varies between country to country, but overall, the use of biolubricants is encouraged. The US has established a ‘Bio-preferred products’ programme which, once fully integrated, will make it a legal requirement to select environmentally friendly lubricants over petroleum based ones, and further increase demand.
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Hydraulic fluids are the largest segment for the US and Europe, with cutting oil also expected to exhibit continuous growth. The Bio 2 Cycle Engine Oils segment is likely to record growth of 12% P/A to 2018. The biolubricants market is expected to take an increased share in the lubricant market over time, as although petroleum based products are cheaper, well known and highly stable, they do not offer the advantages of being biodegradable and non-toxic. High performance, ‘environmentally-friendly’ lubricants are therefore highly sought after, and represent a distinct opportunity.
America is observed to be the highest consumer of biolubricants. The North American biolubricants market is expected to show a demand of 243,327 tons by 2017, spurred by legislative initiatives, sustained demand from hydraulic fluids market and growth potential of product types. Currently, biolubricants usage is primarily restricted to developed markets of North America and Europe, with lack of awareness and high pricing posing major hurdles to widespread appeal and usage in other parts of the world. In the future, increasing environmental concerns and emphasis on shift from non-biodegradable lubricants to the environmentally safe and ‘green’ biolubricants will drive high-powered growth.
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There are several factors driving the biodegradable markets - National Legislation drives the growth in the European biolubricants market. The European markets are driven by environmental awareness and fiscal incentives on use of biolubricants. The increased commitment by European countries and the EU to promote products based on renewable materials and protect the environment has resulted in the biolubricants products experiencing restricted, but steady growth.
However, high price of biolubricants restrains the market expansion. The market has not yet achieved the economies of scale and the high retail prices are restraining the growth. The lack of consumer awareness and public misconception is another restraint which hampers the growth of biolubricants markets.
The key players in the biolubricants markets are BP Plc (UK), BP Lubricants USA, Inc. (USA), Chevron Corporation (US), Cargill, Incorporated (US), ExxonMobil Corporation (USA), Esso S.A.F. (France),Eurol BV (The Netherlands), Fuchs Petrolub AG (Germany), Henkel Corporation (US),Miller Oils Ltd. (UK), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (The Netherlands), SOPUS Products (USA) and Statoil Lubricants (Sweden)
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