Photo courtesy of Fuchs
Thickeners and binders are essential for the production of modern lubricants. However, petroleum-based products are generally used for this purpose. Since October 2017, Fuchs and three partners from the chemical and biotechnology industries have been researching a more environment-friendly alternative.
The project, which is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the funding initiative “Tailor-made biobased ingredients for a competitive bioeconomy (PHAt)”, focuses on “polyhydroxyalkanoates” (PHA) – biodegradable biopolymers.
Different PHA are produced by several bacterial species as part of their energy metabolism. The challenge of the PHAt project is now to chemically modify the polymers obtained, optimise their thickening and binding properties and test them in various applications.
The aim of the project is to integrate the new raw materials into suitable lubricants for various applications, from tractors to wind turbines.
Fuchs is a global group with German roots that has developed, produced and sold lubricants and related specialties for more than 85 years – for virtually all areas of application and sectors. With 62 companies and more than 5,600 employees worldwide, the Fuchs Group is the leading independent supplier of lubricants.