California-based company commences operation of its demonstration production plant to produce a high performance bio-based alternative to petroleum lubricant oil


biosynthetic (select to view enlarged photo)

IRVINE, CA--October 15, 2013: California-based Biosynthetic Technologies is about to infuse some green into the world’s motor oil and industrial lubricants industry. The company today announced that, in partnership with Albemarle, a global leader in catalyst chemistry scale-up, operations of their demonstration production plant within Albemarle’s existing Baton Rouge facility have commenced.

“over 40% of the pollution in America’s waterways is from used motor oil.”

Working with the USDA, Biosynthetic Technologies has developed a new, high performance, bio-based “drop-in” synthetic alternative to petroleum used in motor oils and industrial lubricants. This biosynthetic oil, known as Estolides, has the potential to greatly reduce environmental challenges associated with petroleum.

The California Department of Health Services reports “over 40% of the pollution in America’s waterways is from used motor oil.” This urban runoff from car leaks or illegal dumping is carried away by stormwater to waterways, and ultimately to the ocean.

“Several of the world’s largest motor oil companies have invested heavily to test and validate biosynthetic oil in their labs, in engine testing and in numerous field trials. This third-party validation has effectively demonstrated that biosynthetic oils achieve very high scores in key areas, frequently outperforming the highest quality petroleum synthetic oils,” said CEO Allen Barbieri.

The new Plant incorporates and validates every aspect of the low-cost continuous-flow manufacturing process. Biosynthetic Technologies is now moving forward with development of a full-scale commercial production plant. Locations are being evaluated, including locations in the company’s home state of California.

The world consumes almost 12 billion gallons of non-renewable, petroleum-based lubricants each year and nearly 90% enters the environment. A recent LCA shows this new oil offers an 83% to 88% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to similar petroleum based synthetic oils.

Many global lubricant companies plan to launch high-performance, environmentally friendly lubricant lines using these new biosynthetic oils. With the successful startup of the demonstration plant, industry executives can now be confident these new bio-based oils can be competitively priced with synthetic petroleum products and manufactured in volumes sufficient to meet the new emerging global demand.

Motor oils formulated with this oil will be the first bio-based motor oils offered by major motor oil brands and certified to the latest industry standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API). The company is also working with dozens of industrial lubricant manufacturers, additive companies, and equipment manufacturers who are testing these biosynthetic oils for use in greases, gear oils, cooling fluids, metal working fluids, hydraulic fluids, marine lubricants and other industrial products.

Independent testing not only shows biosynthetic oils to be among the highest-rated products for protecting engines and machinery; they are also bio-based, biodegradable, non-toxic and do not bioaccumulate in marine organisms. Also, motor oils and lubricants formulated with biosynthetic base oils can be recycled and re-refined just like petroleum.

“Our biosynthetic oils are a win-win for consumers, offering the cleanest engine possible and a cleaner environment,” said Barbieri. He also notes the economic and environmental advantage from using high performing biosynthetic motor oils that require fewer oil changes. “Now, billions of gallons of petroleum lubricant ingredients can be replaced with a safer, cleaner, high-performing alternative that will protect engines and the environment.”

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