A lubricant is an organic material used to reduce friction between two parts mutually connected to each other. In industrial applications which use huge machines, lubricants play a vital role in reducing friction between components moving at high speeds, thereby minimizing the heat generated, avoiding losses, and reducing wear & tear. They aid maintenance, ensure safety at the workplace by preventing accidents caused by possible leaks & spills, help avoid energy losses, and increase productivity & efficiency. Gear oil, motor oil, hydraulic oil, synthetic lubricants, and grease are commonly used and find application at almost every site which uses machinery.
Typical examples include air compressors, gas engines, gears, bearings, hydraulics, and turbines. Industrial segments which utilize these lubricants include power generation, food & beverages, oil & gas, and manufacturing. Industrial lubricants help maintain the efficiency of a machine and ensures reliability. Rapid industrialization, need for infrastructural development & automation, and the plummeting oil prices are key drivers of the expanding industrial lubricants market. Most of these lubricants are products composed of mineral oil which is non-biodegradable, highly eco-toxic, and poses a threat to the environment as well as human life.
Thus, use of lubricants leads to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions through spills, leakages, or accidents. Stringent environmental considerations, laws, and norms therefore pose a threat to their usage. This, along with the need for efficiency-enhancing lubricants, gives rise to demand for substitutes providing higher efficiency as well as eco-friendly properties. Bio-degradable lubricants sourced out of eco-friendly fuels and food grade lubricants are recent developments in the industry. Given the stringent environmental policies, bio-degradable lubricants are expected to substitute existing lubricants on a large scale in the near future.
Key players in the market include Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron Corporation, Total, and BP.
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