(EnergyAsia, May 22, Friday) — Leading international marine lubricants supplier Total Lubmarine said it has developed a comprehensive range of high-performance biodegradable products which will enable companies in the shipping industry to significantly improve their environmental footprint without compromising either performance or safety.

After extensive testing over a period of years at its dedicated research centre, Total Lubmarine said it is now able to offer a full range of biodegradable products, comprising Carter Bio, a high-gear performance lubricant, Biohydran TMP, a high-quality hydraulic lubricant, and Biomultis SEP 2, an extreme-pressure multipurpose grease.

Total Lubmarine said its products are not only biodegradable but also equal in terms of its performance capabilities to a mineral-based oil product.

Patrick Havil, marketing manager of Lubmarine, said: “Lubmarine has always been acutely aware of its responsibility to protect the environment, and committed to developing the best biodegradable marine lubricants on the market. These are now available for use by the shipping industry.

“The commercial incentives to use such lubricants are now greater than ever, and include the possibility of reduced fees for ‘green’ ships in certain ports, and the requirement on the part of certain port authorities for ships to operate within the terms of a zero spill policy.

“The moral obligations are very persuasive. More ship operators are becoming aware of the importance of the environment and of the need to protect it. This enlightened awareness is evident throughout all industries, including shipping, where operators are increasingly concerned about their environmental footprint within the terms of their sustainable energy policies.

“It is simply not possible to guarantee a zero-risk of spillage with regard to onboard operations. The potential for lubricant leakage on board ship is high. It exists across so many traditional shipping-related activities involving everything from engine operation to thruster and stern-tube performance, from cranes to winches to pumps.

“Such leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, from mechanical failure to human error. So, since it is not feasible to eliminate mechanical failure and human error entirely, the only way to limit the harmful and damaging effect of oil spillages at sea is to use biodegradable lubricants.

“More and more companies are keen to use biodegradable lubricants because they are not toxic, like other products, but those same companies are not ready to accept any compromise in terms of performance. Manufacturing new biodegradable lubricants which do not affect performance, however, is not a straightforward undertaking.

“The main raw material used to produce such products, base oil, has to be changed, and all the properties introduced by mineral-based oils such as high oxidation resistance and thermal stability are not present in the chemical compounds found in biodegradable oil.

“This means that, for a biodegradable product to perform as effectively and efficiently as a mineral oil-based product, its formulation has to be completely redeveloped.

“Now, following extensive testing over a period of years at its dedicated research centre at Solaize in France, Total Lubmarine has now completed that redevelopment to produce a range of high-performance products eminently suitable for use in the shipping industry.”

Lubmarine is the worldwide marine lubricants network of oil major Total