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Yacht sailing through open water using environmentally acceptable lubricants

Environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs)

We create, make and sell, world leading, synthetic lubricant base oils using renewable and sustainable raw materials for environmentally sensitive areas where oil release or spillage may occur including:

  • Marine
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Mining, and
  • Food processing. 

Environmental pollution caused by chemicals, including lubricants, has led to increased regulatory and customer demand, across many markets, for environmentally friendly products.  

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What are environmentally acceptable lubricants? 

Environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) are defined as a lubricant that has:

  • Good biodegradability – a measure of the breakdown of a chemical (or chemical mixture) by micro-organisms
  • Low toxicity – including low toxicity to aquatic organisms
  • Low bioaccumulation – build-up of chemicals within the tissues of an organism over time.

Several countries require EALs to be used in place of mineral oil-based products in environmentally sensitive areas, or where there is an oil-to sea interface. There are also several interrelated classification systems for EALs including:

  • European Ecolabel (LuSC list)
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred®
  • Vessel General Permit legislation (VGP).

Many of our products meet the criteria for all the above classification systems, including our industry leading range of Priolube™ ester base oils.  

Environmentally acceptable hydraulic fluids 

Hydraulic fluids play an important role in the smooth operation of a well-balanced and well-designed hydraulic system. Environmentally acceptable hydraulic fluids ensure superior product performance whilst reducing environmental impact in applications including:

  • Agricultural machinery
  • Earth moving equipment in environmentally sensitive areas
  • Forestry equipment
  • Ship deck equipment and stabilisers.  

We have a broad range of oxidatively stable and biodegradable esters suitable for HEES environmentally acceptable hydraulic fluids, in ISO grades 22 to 1000. 

Environmentally acceptable industrial gear oils 

Lubricants and fuels constitute some of the biggest losses to the marine environment, the boundary between the oil and sea interface is under continuous scrutiny by regulatory authorities and customers must now develop solutions that have an acceptable environmental profile. Environmentally acceptable industrial gear oil applications include:

  • Marine thrusters
  • Marine deck machinery. 

Environmentally acceptable greases

Biodegradability and renewability are vital formulation attributes in the selection of the right grease for a given application, particularly as new and changing environmental standards come into effect. Environmentally acceptable grease applications include: 

  • Bearings
  • Open gears
  • Wire rope. 

European Ecolabel (LuSC list)

European (EU) Ecolabel for lubricants promotes the development and use of lubricating products with a reduced environmental impact. Lubricant products satisfying the requirements of European Ecolabel must be biodegradable, have low aquatic toxicity, and where palm oil or palm kernel oil is used, must be sustainably sourced.  

Whilst lubricants must comply with strict environmental criteria to be classed as Ecolabel compliant, they must also meet minimum technical performance standards.  
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Vessel General Permit (VGP)

VGP was introduced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict the use and discharge of lubricants onboard commercial vessels operating in US coastal waters.  

For information about our ester base fluids for use in VGP marine applications please contact our team. 
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred

BioPreferred is a programme of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is an initiative that assists the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. Biobased products span a diverse range of applications, such as lubricants, cleaning products, chemicals, and bioplastics.  

Our USDA Certified Biobased lubricant base oils have been independently tested for bio-based (non fossil fuel) content and reported on the USDA BioPreferred website. Contact our team for more information.  
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Croda have made a commitment to be Climate, Land and People Positive by 2030. 

Croda has aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and Energy Technologies embeds the 17 UN SDGs in our strategic thinking and strive to contribute to a more sustainable world for both people and planet.
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