Submitted to: Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fats Products
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 2004
Publication Date: April 20, 2005
Citation: Erhan, S.Z. 2005. Vegetable oils as lubricants, hydraulic fluids, and inks. In: Shahidi, F., editor. Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products: Industrial and Nonedible Products from Oils and Fats. Chapter 7, 6th edition. Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 259-278. Technical Abstract: Vegetable oils are used in various industrial applications such as emulsifiers, lubricants, plasticizers, surfactants, plastics, solvents and resins. Research and development approaches take advantage of the natural properties of these oils. Vegetable oils have superb environmental credentials, such as being inherently biodegradable, having low ecotoxicity and low toxicity towards humans, being derived from renewable resources and contributing no volatile organic chemicals. United States agriculture produces over 16 billion pounds of vegetable oils annually. These domestic oils are extracted from the seeds of soybean, corn, cotton, sunflower, flax and rapeseed. Although more than 12 billion pounds of these oils are used for food products such as shortenings, salad and cooking oils and margarines, large quantities serve feed and industrial applications. Other vegetable oils used industrially include palm, palm kernel, coconut, castor and tung. However, these are not of domestic origin. The three domestic oils most widely used industrially are soybean, linseed from flax and rapeseed. Soybean oil provides nearly 80% of the seed oils produced annually in the United States. Consequently, the relatively low cost and the dependable supply of soybean oil make it one of the more important sources of industrial oils. Annual consumption of oil-based lubricants in the USA is close to 10 million tons and valued at more than $8 billion (USD). More than 70% of total lubricant volume is used in motor oils for automotive engines and approximately 10% in hydraulic fluids. Other application areas, mostly industrial lubricants, are less significant.