Bio-based Lubricants and Process Materials in Sustainable Public Acquisition

  Pie Chart of the Oil Market

Damage to the environment and health risks can be minimized by using environmentally friendly lubricants and process materials. Despite the proven technical performance of bio-based lubricants, their sales volume is stagnating. The aim of the study is to record the substitution potential for biohydraulic oils in the context of federal construction projects.

Benefit Procedure
Detailed determination of the hydraulic oil consumption of various construction machines Research on oil consumption per hour
Recording of hydraulic oil consumption for federal construction projects Breakdown of the construction machinery used and its operating time
Classification of construction projects in terms of hydraulic oil consumption Creation of sample calculations



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Stocktaking and Recommended Actions

Environmentally friendly lubricants and process materials are used in a wide variety of technical applications. Particularly in mobile machinery, efforts are being made to further establish biolubricants. Due to unforeseeable accidents and leakages, a considerable amount of lubricants (approx. 500,000 t) is released into the environment every year. This results in the contamination of the affected environment. For this reason, soils, for example, must be extensively treated after contact with hydraulic oil in order to restore them to their original natural state. Biobased hydraulic oils minimize this problem due to their biodegradability and their antitoxicity. Furthermore, bio-based lubricants consist of at least 25% renewable components, which has a positive effect on the ecological balance of the fluids. In addition to the advantages for humans and the environment, they also offer a number of technical advantages. Despite the proven performance of environmentally friendly lubricants and process fluids, the growth of the market share of biolubricants is stagnating. The market share is at an almost constant 4 - 5 %.


Determining the Hydraulic Oil Consumption of Various Construction Machines

Oil Samples Oil Samples

The oil consumption of construction machinery provides information on the substitution potential of biolubricants. The volume of the respective hydraulic tanks and the replacement intervals suggested by the manufacturer are taken into consideration. This allows the hydraulic oil consumption per hour of different mobile machines to be calculated. Consequently, a database is created which shows the consumption of various machines from different manufacturers. In addition to frequently used construction machines such as mobile excavators or wheel loaders, special attention is paid to machines used in road construction. In this sector, due to the high thermal load (e.g. by hot asphalt), a rapid oil ageing and thus short change intervals are to be expected.


Hydraulic Oil Consumption in Federal Construction Projects

In order to determine the substitution potential of bio-hydraulic oil in federal construction projects, different construction projects are examined with regard to their hydraulic oil consumption. For this purpose, different construction projects are analysed, such as motorway bridge construction, social housing construction or road reconstruction. Based on the oil consumption and the construction area, sample calculations can be made for the projects, which break down the oil consumption per construction area. This makes it possible to classify various federal construction projects with regard to their substitution potential.



The research project NoeBio is funded by the Fachagentur Nachwachsender Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR). It is a joint project, which ifas is working on together with the Technik Arbeit Transfer gGmbH (TAT).