Tetramer was awarded a USDA Phase I Contract (2018-33610-28260) to develop biodegradable lubricants from renewable feedstocks.
Lubricant spills from agricultural, forestry, excavation, and landscaping equipment have direct impact on watersheds throughout the US, with significant impact on areas such as national parks and forests and protected wetlands. The purpose of this SBIR Program is to develop a biodegradable lubricant to replace non-biodegradable lubricants currently utilized in these industries, in an effort to mitigate and eliminate the ecological hazard posed by these spills. Development of a high performance, affordable, and biodegradable replacement for petroleum based lubricants is the end goal of this current research program.
The goal of this Phase I program is to generate a spectrum of hydraulic fluids and gear oils from biodegradable and renewable materials for use in agricultural, forestry and landscaping equipment. 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, for 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.