BioBased Bike Lubricants

TECHNOLOGY

WHAT IS A LUBRICANT?

A lubricant’s function is to reduce friction, wear, and corrosion between moving surfaces. Lubricants are commonly derived from petroleum. Mineral oil, a by-product of petroleum refining, is used as the base oil for many lubricants.

Synthetic oils are synthesized via chemical reaction using molecules also derived from petroleum. These petroleum-derived base oils are loaded up with additives to achieve specific properties that are required by the user.

These additives can improve some properties such as lubricity (ability to lubricate and reduce friction/wear) and viscosity index. Petro-based lubricants are not environmentally friendly and are toxic. A very large amount of lubricants are spilled into the environment every year.

A SUPERIOR BIOLUBRICANT

Biolubricants use seed oils as the base oil. Until recently, biolubricants would be prepared using low grade, unrefined vegetable oils from different sources. But what if you knew how to use different plant oils and oleochemicals to synthesize biobased oils with similar properties and purity as synthetic oils, without any additives?

What if someone had figured out how to completely stabilize these bio-based oils against oxidation and decrease their pour point? You would have a synthetic-quality biodegradable oil, with superior lubricity, high viscosity index and of high thermal stability and low pour point, and no noxious toxic additives.

CHAINBOOST

Our first demonstration of superior biomaterials expertise was through the development of our wet chain lube ChainBoost. ChainBoost uses chemical polar group technology to bind to metal at an atomic level, creating an extremely efficient drivetrain. The lubricant contains an emulsifying agent, so when hosed with water (or rubbed with a wet rag), it washes off completely and leaves a sparkling clean chain.

SUSPENSION OIL

The performance advantages of WPL oil is most apparent in suspension oil. It is tough to match WPL’s lubricity, as it creates a remarkable smoothness to suspension damping that cannot be achieved using petroleum-based suspension oil. Suspension oil is a high performance oil that is not easy to formulate.

Conventional mineral oil-based suspension oils required the addition of viscosity enhancing and viscosity index improving additives. WPL does not contain any additives in our oils whatsoever, and was forced to dive deep into the chemistry of oil to increase VI, lubricity, prevent wear and corrosion, while keeping the oil 100% green.

BEYOND THE BIKE

It was through development of our suspension oils that we learned how to manipulate biolubricants to achieve a wide range of properties
and functionalities.

Testing has begun to put these biolubricants into motorized vehicle suspension, car engines, forestry equipment, and heavy machinery. These markets will greatly benefit from using such a lubricating oil, with the benefit of being 100% green.