Making a choice for industrial fluids
An eco-friendly choice for an industrial lubricant should not compromise equipment functions and performance. Selection of a lubricant should not only reduce its environmental impact but it should reduce long term costs. For example, oil in an equipment should not be changed unless it has reached the end of its serviceable life however, this is not is typically the case because oil is sometimes changed due to a time criteria and the presence of contaminants like water and dirt. It should be noted that there are proper equipment that can remove contaminants from oil. With a longer life cycle, there will be less oil disposal and the cost savings generated can be put to good use.
In the choice for industrial fluids, it is important to consider longer life, reduced machine wear, reduced incipient power losses and improved safety. One of the better options would be synthetic lubricants, lubricants with different additives or biodegradable industrial lubricants which are environmentally safer in case of leaks and spillages. But this is easier said than done because there are synthetic lubricants that may not be compatible with equipment and its components. It might require special system designs or proper and effective maintenance.
Selection of industrial fluids from an environmental aspect
The selection of industrial lubricants based on an environmental aspect can be rather complicated with a lot of different factors that have to be taken into account. It is critical to consider the source of the base materials whether they are from renewable resources and how energy is used and wasted during its production. Other important considerations include safety, efficiency, biodegradability, end-products, ease of maintenance, service life, waste handling and the fluids toxicity. In many cases, information is not always available. There are instances when a certain lubricant seems like the best eco-friendly choice but this might not be the case since there might be more wear on the equipment.
Biodegradable fluids come in different formulations and they can affect components like pumps. For example, many eco-friendly fluids have higher specific gravity than the traditional petroleum-based products which may require adjustments on the pump’s inlet conditions with overhead reservoirs to ensure positive inlet pressure and to maintain adequate suction and prevent cavitation. Special design and maintenance may be required with bio fluids because they are different from the usual petroleum-based fluids in terms of oxidation stability, hydrological stability, water compatibility, filterability, etc. Standard rating procedures will ensure that the pump and the fluid are compatible and will ensure that they can work together.