Cooking And Salad Oils Could Lubricate Cars, Boats, Machines

August 21, 1996

They're not just for french fries anymore. Tests have shown that many vegetable-derived cooking and salad oils, such as corn, sunflower and canola, can be made to perform as well or better than the commercial standard for car, boat and machine lubricants.Svajus Asadauskas, a doctoral candidate working under the direction of J. Larry Duda, chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Joseph Perez, adjunct professor of chemical engineering, reported that, when blended with a proprietary additive developed at Penn State, some vegetable oil formulations perform as well or better than the commercial standard, 10W-30 SG, in the usual tests for the ability to resist burning and forming deposits at high temperatures. They also performed as well or better than the standards in tests for slipperiness and for evaporation loss. While the tests examined important but relatively narrow characteristics, Duda notes that one of the group's commercial partners, Renewable Lubricants of Ohio, has also demonstrated vegetable oil's potential by using similar corn oil formulations successfully in company vehicles for the last three years. The company's success challenges the widespread perception that vegetable oils oxidize too rapidly to be used in engines. Duda said there has been continuing interest in vegetable oil-based lubricants for many years because they are more environmentally friendly. They can be produced and disposed of with less impact on the environment and are cheaper to manufacture than current synthetic lubricants. Duda adds, "Vegetable oils offer Third World countries with a good farm base a real alternative to importing oil for lubricants." Highly saturated oils make the best lubricants because of their good stability, Duda said. However, highly saturated oils don't have the fluidity needed in cars, boats and machines. Asadauskas, a native of Lithuania, is an intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oil chemical research laboratory in Peoria, Ill. Perez, who retired from the U.S. Department of Energy about two years ago, is a volunteer faculty member at Penn State. The Penn State Tribology Group, which studies the lubrication of moving surfaces, is the only chemistry-focused tribology group in the U.S.

###




Penn State

Related Corn Articles from Brightsurf:

Making sense of a universe of corn genetics
A new study details the latest efforts to predict traits in corn based on genomics and data analytics.

Redefining drought in the US corn belt
As the climate trends warmer and drier, global food security increasingly hinges on crops' ability to withstand drought.

Speedy recovery: New corn performs better in cold
Around the world, each person eats an average of 70 pounds of corn each year, with even more grown for animal feed and biofuel.

US corn yields get boost from a global warming 'hole'
The global average temperature has increased 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 100 years.

Genetic discovery may improve corn quality, yields
Researchers may be able to improve corn yields and nutritional value after discovering genetic regulators that synthesize starch and protein in the widely eaten grain, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Pollen genes mutate naturally in only some strains of corn
Pollen genes mutate naturally in only some strains of corn, according to Rutgers-led research that helps explain the genetic instability in certain strains and may lead to better breeding of corn and other crops.

Fungal mating: Next weapon against corn aflatoxin?
Native fungi combinations show promise against aflatoxin.

Scientists discover new 'architecture' in corn
New research on the US's most economically important agricultural plant -- corn -- has revealed a different internal structure of the plant than previously thought, which can help optimize how corn is converted into ethanol.

Breeding corn for water-use efficiency may have just gotten easier
With approximately 80 percent of our nation's water supply going towards agriculture, it's fair to say it takes a lot of water to grow crops.

Changing temperatures are helping corn production in US -- for now
Increased production of corn in the US has largely been credited to advances in farming technology but new research shows that changing temperatures play a significant role in crop yield.

Read More: Corn News and Corn Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.