Advanced

Life cycle assessment of mineral oil-based and vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluids including comparison of biocatalytic and conventional production methods

Ekman, Anna LU and Börjesson, Pål LU (2011) In International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 16(4). p.297-305
Abstract
Lubricants are used in numerous applications in our society, for instance, as hydraulic fluids. When used in forestry, 60-80% of these hydraulic fluids are released into the environment. This is one of the reasons for the growing interest for developing and utilising hydraulic fluids with good environmental performance. Another driving force in the development of hydraulic fluids is to replace fossil products with renewable ones. The aim of this paper is to investigate the environmental impact of two types of hydraulic fluids, one based on mineral oil and one on vegetable oil. The difference in environmental impact of using chemical or biocatalytic production methods is also assessed. This life cycle assessment is from cradle-to-gate,... (More)
Lubricants are used in numerous applications in our society, for instance, as hydraulic fluids. When used in forestry, 60-80% of these hydraulic fluids are released into the environment. This is one of the reasons for the growing interest for developing and utilising hydraulic fluids with good environmental performance. Another driving force in the development of hydraulic fluids is to replace fossil products with renewable ones. The aim of this paper is to investigate the environmental impact of two types of hydraulic fluids, one based on mineral oil and one on vegetable oil. The difference in environmental impact of using chemical or biocatalytic production methods is also assessed. This life cycle assessment is from cradle-to-gate, including waste treatment. A complementary, laboratory, biodegradability test was also performed. The functional unit is 1 l of base fluid for hydraulic fluids, and mass allocation is applied. A sensitivity analysis is performed to assess the impact of the energy used and of the allocation method. The impact categories studied are primary energy consumption, global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication potential (EP), acidification potential (AP), photooxidant creation potential (POCP) and biodegradability. The contribution to GWP and primary energy consumption was higher for the mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid than the vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluids. The contributions to EP and AP were higher for the vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid than the mineral oil-based one. The vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid had better biodegradability than the one based on mineral oil. The impact of production method was minor, thus the biocatalytic method gives no significant advantage over chemical methods concerning energy and environmental performance. For the environmental impact categories GWP, POCP and primary energy consumption, hydraulic fluids based on rapeseed oil make a lower contribution than a mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid. For EP and AP, the contributions of TMP oleate are higher than the contribution of mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid. The difference between the chemically catalysed method and the ezymatically catalysed method is negligible because the major environmental impact is due to the production of the raw materials. The vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid, TMP oleate, was more biodegradable than the mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Biocatalytic production, Biodegradability, Biolubricants, Hydraulic, fluids, Life cycle assessment, Rapeseed oil, Trimethylolpropane (TMP)
in
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
volume
16
issue
4
pages
297 - 305
publisher
Ecomed Publishers
external identifiers
  • wos:000289562100002
  • scopus:79958741790
ISSN
0948-3349
DOI
10.1007/s11367-011-0263-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4e52d290-717b-4a97-bd42-8f936fd7a79e (old id 1965627)
date added to LUP
2011-05-20 13:35:20
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:02:29
@article{4e52d290-717b-4a97-bd42-8f936fd7a79e,
  abstract     = {Lubricants are used in numerous applications in our society, for instance, as hydraulic fluids. When used in forestry, 60-80% of these hydraulic fluids are released into the environment. This is one of the reasons for the growing interest for developing and utilising hydraulic fluids with good environmental performance. Another driving force in the development of hydraulic fluids is to replace fossil products with renewable ones. The aim of this paper is to investigate the environmental impact of two types of hydraulic fluids, one based on mineral oil and one on vegetable oil. The difference in environmental impact of using chemical or biocatalytic production methods is also assessed. This life cycle assessment is from cradle-to-gate, including waste treatment. A complementary, laboratory, biodegradability test was also performed. The functional unit is 1 l of base fluid for hydraulic fluids, and mass allocation is applied. A sensitivity analysis is performed to assess the impact of the energy used and of the allocation method. The impact categories studied are primary energy consumption, global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication potential (EP), acidification potential (AP), photooxidant creation potential (POCP) and biodegradability. The contribution to GWP and primary energy consumption was higher for the mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid than the vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluids. The contributions to EP and AP were higher for the vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid than the mineral oil-based one. The vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid had better biodegradability than the one based on mineral oil. The impact of production method was minor, thus the biocatalytic method gives no significant advantage over chemical methods concerning energy and environmental performance. For the environmental impact categories GWP, POCP and primary energy consumption, hydraulic fluids based on rapeseed oil make a lower contribution than a mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid. For EP and AP, the contributions of TMP oleate are higher than the contribution of mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid. The difference between the chemically catalysed method and the ezymatically catalysed method is negligible because the major environmental impact is due to the production of the raw materials. The vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid, TMP oleate, was more biodegradable than the mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid.},
  author       = {Ekman, Anna and Börjesson, Pål},
  issn         = {0948-3349},
  keyword      = {Biocatalytic production,Biodegradability,Biolubricants,Hydraulic,fluids,Life cycle assessment,Rapeseed oil,Trimethylolpropane (TMP)},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {297--305},
  publisher    = {Ecomed Publishers},
  series       = {International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment},
  title        = {Life cycle assessment of mineral oil-based and vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluids including comparison of biocatalytic and conventional production methods},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11367-011-0263-0},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2011},
}