Biobased Semi-Solid Lubricant (Grease) Formulation and Preparation

Reference Number: 11-22

Inventors: Xiuzhi Susan Sun and ByungJun Ahn

Description:

Researchers at Kansas State University have developed a novel soybean oil based grease that exhibits similar thermal and rheological properties as silicone-based grease. This new lubricant is synthesized using a one-pot, solvent-free, purification-free “green” process. Furthermore, it is believed that commercial products produced with this process can be significantly cheaper than silicone or other bio-based grease.

Silicone-based lubricants have a variety of uses. These range from lubricating light bulb threads, fountain pen mechanisms, and gaskets on dry suits to preserving O-rings in flashlights and sealing waterproof watches. These lubricants also do not cause rubber to soften or swell, which is a common disadvantage of other lubricants, such as those based on hydrocarbons.

This new biolubricant satisfies the many needs that silicone-based lubricants fulfill. While other methods for producing biogrease exist, they tend to be more expensive to produce and do not involve a green process. This discovery presents advantages over existing silicone-based grease and other biogreases with its lower cost environmentally friendly manufacturing process.

Advantages:
  • Can be used in the same variety of ways as silicone-based grease
  • Costs approximately $5-$8 per pound as opposed to $13 per pound for silicone-based grease and $15 per pound for other biogreases
  • Produced using a green (one-pot, solvent-free, catalyst-free) process
Applications:
  • Safe lubrication of rubber items, such as drysuit gaskets
  • Protection in components such as O-rings in flashlights and air rifles
  • Lubrication of common mechanisms, such as door hinges, threads on bolts, shower heads, etc.
  • Sealant for waterproof items
Patent Status
  • PCT Application was filed in February 2013.

Kansas State University Research Foundation seeks to have discussions with companies that are interested in licensing and/or research collaborations.

Interested parties should contact:

Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC)
2005 Research Park Circle Manhattan, KS 66502
Tel: 785-532-3900 Fax: 785-532-3909
E-Mail: ic@k-state.edu