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Innov­a­tion for the environment

Wheth­er tract­or, wind tur­bine or train: no machine can do without lub­ric­a­tion. But when lub­ric­ants or greases are used in an open sys­tem, the oper­a­tion of the mech­an­ic­al parts inev­it­ably causes abra­sion in the envir­on­ment. This is why it is so import­ant to have residue-free, bio­de­grad­able lub­ric­ants avail­able for envir­on­ment­ally sens­it­ive applic­a­tions such as the open sea, in forests or on farmland.

How­ever, not all lub­ric­ants can yet be pro­duced in a sus­tain­able and envir­on­ment­ally friendly man­ner using the cur­rent state of the art. For example, thick­en­ing agentes, which cur­rently still con­sist of fossil-based met­al soaps or inor­gan­ic fillers, plastics and poly­ur­eas, are added to lub­ric­ants. These mater­i­als are usu­ally not bio­de­grad­able and can have dis­ad­vant­ages for the envir­on­ment. Due to a lack of altern­at­ives, how­ever, the use of these clas­sic thicken­ers is neces­sary in order to achieve the required prop­er­ties of the lubricant.

The part­ners in the PHAt pro­ject are devel­op­ing altern­at­ive thicken­ers based on nat­ur­al sub­stances to meet this need. New pro­cess steps are used to pro­duce envir­on­ment­ally friendly, com­pletely bio­de­grad­able lub­ric­ants. In this way the PHAt pro­ject part­ners con­trib­ute to great­er inde­pend­ence from fossil raw mater­i­als and to the pro­tec­tion of our environment.