Driving Innovation in Established Markets: A Discussion on Estolides (a bio sourced synthetic) in the Lubricant Industry

J. Bredsguard
Biosynthetic Technologies, US

Keywords: fuels, biosources

Summary:

Driving the acceptance of a new technology in an established market requires a need and a solution to that need. However, that alone does not guarantee success but only the potential for success. The technology must be accepted by the industry and the end consumer, it must have the ability to be produced commercially at an acceptable price, and must have the financial backing required to support the technology until it can become financially self-sustaining. This requires dedication, focus, creativity, a clear strategy, the right partnerships, and strong leadership. Such innovation is currently taking place in the lubricant industry. Estolides are a new type of environmentally friendly synthetic oil being used in lubricants. They are synthesized from vegetable oil and are biodegradable and nontoxic. Vegetable oils have been used in lubricants for many years but have inherent deficiencies related to longevity in use and cold temperature performance that greatly limit their acceptance and feasibility in the industry. These issues are overcome with the estolide technology as estolides exhibit superior performance characteristics, allowing environmentally friendly products to be used in a wider range of lubricant applications. Through a dedicated effort to make a quality product and key relationships with market leading companies, estolides are now making a strong name for themselves in an established market.