Replacement of mineral oils with modified bio-based environmentally friendly lubricants for manufacturing operations

Government legislation and public opinion are the main drivers behind the movement of manufacturing companies towards sustainable production. Evidently, companies want to avoid future financial penalties and the industry is therefore under pressure to adapt new techniques and practices to become environmentally friendly. The cost efficiency of metal processing operations is severely dependent on the product accuracy, surface finish quality and maximized tool life. Hence, the industry has traditionally made abundant use of coolants/lubricants in machining operations. However, these work fluids have been a major contributor to environmental and health issues.

This project aims to develop bio-based lubricants using rapeseed oils and oat husk to replace mineral oils in the manufacturing industry. The project aims to contribute to a more sustainable product, not using petroleum-based compounds that can be used in manufacturing operations making the operation more sustainable.

Expected results and effects

By using a multidisciplinary approach integrating chemistry of carbon materials, nanotechnology, friction, and lubrication theory, metal cutting and sheet metal forming theories, heat exchange and heat transfer theory, etc., the project aims to achieve the following impacts:

  • Development of novel strategies for implementation of advanced eco-friendly techniques to increase the sustainability of manufacturing processes as well as an assessment of optimal combinations and concentrations of the carbon nanoadditives to biobased oils for certain applications and processing operations.
  • Development and dissemination of the information about the additional ways of recycling the agricultural, food or similar industrial wastes/residuals into carbon materials for their further application as efficient nanosized additives to eco-friendly lubricants.
  • Dissemination of the information and results between industry stakeholders who are faced with the dilemma of maximizing the usage and implementation of eco-friendly technologies of cooling and lubrication based on efficient vegetable-based oils modified with nanomaterials.
  • The project will have a positive effect on European health and society by helping to gather insights into the problem of the health environment at the industry and implementation of eco-friendly solutions involving the cooling and lubrication when metal and wood processing operations.

The project expects possible involvement of IPs whose interests cover the area of advanced sheet metal forming operations; developers, manufacturers, and distributors of MQL and High-Pressure Cooling devices; manufacturers and distributors of advanced coolants and lubricants; agricultural companies those are looking for the ways of recycling cereals (and other biobased) residuals.