Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2012
Publication Date: 12/7/2012
Citation: Cermak, S.C., Biresaw, G., Isbell, T.A., Evangelista, R.L., Vaughn, S.F., Murray, R.E. 2013. New crop oils - Properties as potential lubricants. Industrial Crops and Products. 44:232-239.
Interpretive Summary: Development of new crops and products continues to be a major goal within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As these goals are met, our reliance on foreign oils is reduced and the U.S. farmer becomes totally self-supportive. New crop oils (such as lesquerella, cuphea, meadowfoam and pennycress) must be evaluated in applications that would make them competitive with current commercial commodity and petroleum-based products. One of the most environmentally acceptable measures is to develop bio-based new products and oils that if released into the environment would not harm our planet. New crop oils have unique and different structures compared to soybean- or petroleum-based oils. These unique oils can have very different properties (viscosity and low temperature) or ways they interact with metals (lubrication and wear) and the environment, i.e. they might make a better acting lubricant or perform better in low temperature environments. The properties of these new oils were measured, compared and evaluated back to the initial structures of the oils. The results showed that U.S. farmers do have additional new crops available with equal or superior lubrication properties compared to current commercially available vegetable oils.
Technical Abstract: New crops oils such as lesquerella, field pennycress, meadowfoam and cuphea were investigated and compared to common commodity vegetable oils for their fatty acid profiles, low temperature and lubricating properties. The fatty acid profile investigation showed that lesquerella is high in hydroxy fatty acid (HFA), greater than 52%, and cuphea had high levels of saturated fatty acid (SFA), greater than 82%. Low temperature and viscosity properties were also measured and compared to common commodity vegetable oils as well as commercial petroleum-based oils. The higher levels of SFA in cuphea led to high pour points (PP) of 3 deg C. Pennycress and lesquerella had some of the best PP among the new crop oils, -21 and -24 deg C respectively, while castor had a PP of -30 deg C. All the plant-based oils, except castor and lesquerella, had excellent viscosity index in the range of 167-231. New crop oils with an antioxidant additive (1-3%) were as oxidatively stable as current commercial petroleum products based on the rotating pressurized vessel oxidation test (RPVOT) and gave times >200 min. Wear scar diameters (WSD) of the vegetable-based oils from the 4-ball anti-wear test showed best results for cuphea and pennycress with WSD of 0.530 and 0.594 mm, respectively. In general, the new crop oils were found to have specific unique advantages over traditional commodity vegetable oils. Spider plots were used to compare new crop oils on a defined goodness scale.