Selection Performance of Envirologic® Lubricants

Answer: An EnviroLogic® product cost relative to petroleum oils will depend greatly on petroleum oil utilized. Our customers tell us that EnviroLogic® products save them more overall:

  • Little, if any, protective equipment needed
  • Lower shipping, handling and containment costs
  • Lower cleanup costs
  • Lower regulatory costs and reduced risk of fines
  • Potentially longer changeover intervals

Answer: EnviroLogic® is approved by many original equipment and subcomponent pump manufacturers, and we continue to partner with specific OEMs to add others as customers request. For more information regarding approvals, contact your OEM directly or refer to our current OEM approval list.

Answer: EnviroLogic® readily biodegradable products have been thoroughly evaluated both in performance testing and in the field. The products meet or exceed the performance requirements of most major equipment manufacturers. EnviroLogic® products meet all relative API, ASTM, and other industry standards.

RSC Bio Solutions stands behind its products and will underwrite any proven lubricant-related field failure, not warranted by the equipment manufacturer, caused from the use of these products and substantiated by records documenting the proper use of the fluids.

It is required for this General Product Warranty that any fluid that has prior service use in the field must have been utilized and handled according to equipment manufacturer requirements and standard lubrication practices. This would include the availability of appropriate maintenance records. RSC Bio Solutions warrants only EnviroLogic® fluid performance. This product warranty will apply to all EnviroLogic® products that are commercially available.

Answer: The shelf life for EnviroLogic® products is warranted for two years, after which it can be recertified by RSC Bio Solutions for an additional year.

Answer: Our products are formulated to have excellent demulsibility characteristics (splitting of water). If water is determined to be above 1000 pm, measures should be taken (as with any hydraulic fluid) to remove the water to prevent interaction with additives and base fluids.

Answer: Yes, they are compatible with NBR (Buna), HNBR (hydrogenated Buna), AU (Polyurethane) and FKM (Viton).

Answer: It will depend on the specific oil, operating system temperature and pressure. EnviroLogic® oils usually last as long as or longer than comparable petroleum based fluids.

Answer: Key fluid performance indicators measured in oil sampling and analysis include:

  • Stay-in-grade kinematic viscosity @ 40°C
  • TAN increase
  • Water contamination
  • Additive/wear elements
  • Particle counts

Answer: Always follow the original equipment manufacturer’s suggested oil change frequency requirements or conduct regular oil sampling and analysis to determine exactly when oil needs to be changed. RSC Bio Solutions works closely with our customers to develop oil sampling and analysis programs. Please contact your sales representative to learn more.

Answer: The flush and fill procedure to convert to EnviroLogic® products is as simple as the cleaning and maintenance procedure you currently use for scheduled care of your equipment. Although it is not required, we recommend flushing the hydraulic system with EnviroLogic® BioFlush before filling with the appropriate hydraulic fluid.

A residual amount of petroleum oil will remain in the sump of the equipment. This will have no effect on the performance of the EnviroLogic® fluid. The second oil replacement will completely purge the system of any residual petroleum oil.

For further detailed equipment flushing procedures, please contact us at (800) 661-3558 for EnviroLogic® Changeover Procedure.

Answer: The following information is used to determine the best biodegradable fluid:

  • Name and viscosity grade of current fluid used in the hydraulic system
  • OEM hydraulic fluid specification or recommendations
  • System operating temperature and pressure
  • System application specifics

Please refer to our product data sheets for best match or call our technical specialists for recommendation at (800) 661-3558.

Answer: Yes, EnviroLogic® and petroleum based fluids can be mixed together. When mixing fluids in a hydraulic power system, environmental benefits of EnviroLogic® are reduced in relative proportion to the amount of petroleum based oil. We recommend draining the system of petroleum oil, flushing with EnviroLogic® BioFlush and then refilling the system with recommended EnviroLogic® product for maximization of environmental benefits.

EnviroLogic® lubricants can be mixed and disposed of in the same waste oil drum as petroleum based fluids.

We also offer our EnviroLogic® customers reservoir and equipment decals to help minimize the risk of accidental system contamination.

Answer: Based on extensive field testing performed by and with our customers and independent laboratories, we have found that our fluids perform equally or superior to their petroleum based counterparts. The performance benefits EnviroLogic® products offer include:

  • Reduced environmental impact (Readily Biodegradable, Minimally Toxic and not Bioaccumulative)
  • Equal or better lubricating performance relative to petro-chemical based fluids
  • Equal or longer fluid change out intervals compared to incumbent petrochemical based fluids
  • Improved hydraulic component wear protection
  • Extended component life

Biodegradability & Other Environmental Benefits

Answer: For example, work truck fleets that are promoting CNG can also add truck body decals to promote use of EnviroLogic® fluids. Many companies and cities have generated press releases and shared the news on local and national levels. When a spill occurs that could be potentially hazardous, use of readily biodegradable fluid mitigates a potentially negative event more.

Answer: Disposal of all EnviroLogic® products should be handled according to the same used for conventional petroleum oils. They can also be mixed with petroleum based products in waste drums and if used in a recycling/fuel process and/or product.

Answer: Our customers have reported remediation costs for petroleum based spills to range anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 and sometimes beyond. Cleanup costs for readily biodegradable products have ranged from $500 to $1000 (mostly for absorbent and cleaner costs), however, that is dependent on the county and state where the spill occurred.

Take a look at this value analysis document that demonstrates the estimated cost savings and shows how the sustainable initiative adds value to the company’s bottom line.

Answer: Reporting requirements varies from state to state and county to county across the United States. You should always report a spill and also notify the regulating entity that it is a readily biodegradable product and provide them with the safety data sheets if necessary. There is a good probability that reduced cleanup and fine response will be much less severe as compared to spilling a hazardous product.

Answer: No, the products need temperature, microbes and water to biodegrade.

Answer: Biodegradable oil can be used in any equipment operating in sensitive environments. Biodegradable oils have been designed for equipment that has the ability to come in direct contact with air, soil, or water systems and pose no risk to mammalian, vegetation or aquatic life because these products are minimally toxic and not bioaccumulative.

Answer: As categorized by ISO 6743, there are four types of biodegradable fluids:

  • Hydraulic Environmental Triglycerides (HETG)
  • Hydraulic Environmental Polyalkylene Glycols (HEPG)
  • Hydraulic Environmental Synthetic Esters (HEES)
  • Hydraulic Environmental PAO (Polyalphaolefins) and Related Hydrocarbon Products (HEPR)

Answer: Inherently biodegradable is defined as the characteristic of a product to be consumed by naturally occurring organisms in nature over an indefinite period of time (> 20% but < 60% as measured by OECD 301B testing). This characteristic is defined by the original composition of the product). Readily biodegradable is defined as the ability of a product to biodegrade quickly and completely (≥ 60% by OECD 301/ASTM D7373 testing).

Answer: There are several standard test methods used to measure biodegradability. The test generally accepted in Europe is the Organization of European Cooperative Development (OECD) 301B test. This test is accepted by product developers and consumers as a “measuring stick” to help the user to understand the products’ environmental impact. ASTM D7373 is gaining acceptance as evidenced by EPA’s inclusion into the 2013 VGP guidelines.

Acceptable or passing levels for these tests are as follows:

Biodegradability, %ASTM D7373> 60%
Biodegradability, % in 28 daysOECD 301B≥ 60%

Answer: Biodegradability is defined as the ability of a substance to be digested or consumed by naturally occurring microorganisms present in water, air and soil systems. Complete biodegradability is the conversion of a substance to carbon dioxide and water.

EPA 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP)

Answer: If a product meets the following criterion, it is considered technically feasible:

  • One or more OEM has approved EALs for use
  • EALs are available for pre-lubricated products
  • EALs are available in Vessel’s ports of call
  • Next dry dock has occurred

Answer: There are three key characteristics of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) that are defined in EPA 2013 VGP Appendix A:

  • Biodegradable
  • Minimally toxic
  • Not bioaccumulative

If a product meets the above criterion, it is approved by the EPA and self-certified as VGP 2013 compliant. The EPA does not certify or recommend EALs.

Myths

Answer:

RSC Bio Solutions' lubricants have been approved by many OEMs for use in their equipment and either meet or exceed all OEM requirements. These products, as mentioned above, perform as well as or better than petroleum based products, which can play a major role in extending the life of your equipment. With this in mind, many OEMs are now approving use of and offering factory-filling of their equipment with RSC Bio Solutions' readily biodegradable products.

The most critical consideration to bear in mind is that not all readily biodegradable products are created equal. Beware of greenwashing, and be sure to select a vendor whose products are created through solid research, backed by guarantees and proven through extensive testing and field validation.

For more information on RSC Bio Solutions’ line of high performance, environmentally friendly, readily biodegradable products, please refer to our Products page.

Answer:

Beware of greenwashing! While many products claim to be biodegradable, the question of how quickly and easily they degrade is critical to how environmentally friendly they can be considered and how they are treated by law.

There are two widely used designations for biodegradability: Inherently biodegradable and readily biodegradable. Simply saying something is biodegradable still means it can persist in the environment for years, continuing to cause substantial damage, and often require long-term remediation—for example, petroleum based products. Inherent biodegradation is defined as degrading > 20 percent to < 60 percent within 28 days. Readily biodegradable materials, on the other hand, degrade by 60 percent or more within 28 days or less. For those products on the higher range of that scale, like those of RSC Bio Solutions, this means that the material will degrade before major environmental damage has occurred.

Answer:

While spilling large quantities of readily biodegradable fluids on land and in the sea is still considered a reportable incident, agencies often evaluate the potential impact of spills differently and more leniently than those involving petroleum based products. In fact, a number of cases where several hundred gallons or more of vegetable based hydraulic fluids were released in marine and land environments have resulted in no fines and minimal clean-up expense because of the readily biodegradable nature of the product. According to ASTM 5864 testing, readily biodegradable products must be able to decompose by at least 60 percent in 28 days. If in fact lubricants have passed this standard, they are considered readily biodegradable and thus more likely to be viewed as a less serious environmental hazard if spilled.

Answer:

There are a wide range of performance levels among both readily biodegradable and petroleum based products and lubricants. Consumers have a wide array of options from less expensive, lower performance lubricants to the high-end, high performing products. While care must be taken in choosing the appropriate product for the specific application, readily biodegradable products also fall into this range. It’s important to know that some readily biodegradable products provide higher performance results than petroleum based ones. The unique formulas developed by RSC Bio Solutions’ chemists and engineers are designed to meet or exceed the performance attributes of any product on the market in terms of operating under a wide range of extreme temperature conditions, in high pressure applications, with long wear and fluid life and offering anticorrosive properties.

Answer:

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), roughly 706 million gallons of petroleum are released into the ocean each year. Many believe that the bulk of this is caused by major catastrophic oil spills. However, the facts demonstrate that small spills or minor leaks add up significantly over time. In reality, a 2010 study estimated that between 10 and 16 million gallons of spills are caused by poor maintenance practices or regular leaks and spills. This means that those companies who truly wish to be environmentally responsible must take a look at the full range of their equipment, maintenance processes and product use to make the most sustainable choices.