Biodegradable Lubricants from Renewable Feedstocks

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2018-33610-28260
Agency Tracking Number: 2018-00460
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.8
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-03-31
Small Business Information
657 S MECHANIC ST, Pendleton, SC, 29670-1808
DUNS: 112087726
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey DiMaio
 COO & Managing Member
 (864) 646-6282
Business Contact
 Jeffrey DiMaio
Title: COO & Managing Member
Phone: (864) 646-6282
Research Institution
Current agriculture and off-road equipment requires the use of lubricants to ensure efficient operation of integral hydraulic and gear driven systems. The lubricants, either oils or greases, aid in reducing friction, dissipating heat, prevent oxidation, and seal of water and debris from vital areas of the equipment. During operation, equipment may have slight leaks or suffer catastrophic failures during operation, posing a risk of the lubricant leaking into a sensitive environment. The purpose of this SBIR Program is to develop a biodegradable lubricant to replace non-biodegradable lubricants currently utilized in agriculture and off-road applications. Development and deployment of a biodegradable lubricant minimizes the risk of a hazardous chemical spill into a sensitive environment or watershed.The goal of this Phase I program is to generate a spectrum of lubricating fluids from biodegradable and renewable materials that can serve as stand-alone products or as components in a formulated system which can address the performance requirements in hydraulic and gear lubricants. The general approach to this research is to synthesize a series of lubricants and evaluate their base physical properties to down-select promising candidates for in-depth property analysis, based on the targeted commercial application.In Phase I, a multi-level factorial design will be generated to define the composition of the lubricants and to analyze the effects of said composition on the physical properties of the synthetic lubricant. Prior work has shown that this type of experimental design will generate predictive performance data for all compositions within the boundaries of the design matrix. Lubricants generated during this Phase I program will be analyzed for thermal properties, viscometrics, and wear properties utilizing standard test methods and practices.The commercial applications and general public benefits of this technology are numerous. The Environmental Protection Agency and the European Ecolabel for Lubricants currently have restrictions in place regarding the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants. Marine lubricants-for commercial vessels and those over 75 feet in length require the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants, so there is a market sector presently in place with few options that satisfy both cost and performance demands. Development of a successful lubricant under this Phase I SBIR would provide the market with a product that meets biodegradability/toxicity requirements while providing cost and performance benefits versus currently utilized environmentally acceptable lubricants. Beyond the current marine market, the development of a cost-effective high performance biodegradable lubricant could have dramatic effects on applications like agriculture, construction, off-road vehicles, and personal watercraft.Lubricants used in and around environmentally sensitive areas pose the risk of spills and leaks causing wide ranging environmental effects. To combat this risk, lubricants are being developed that are biodegradable, sourced from renewable materials, and provide both cost and performance benefits to their end users.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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