Posts tagged Biodegradable

Understanding ‘Biodegradable’


 As the need for Biodegradable Lubricants increases, there are many companies which state their products are biodegradable, without really saying what that means. There are two types of biodegradable products, they can either be classified as Inherently Biodegradable or Readily Biodegradable. When selling for an application that requiresbiodegr biodegradability, it is important for both you and your customer to understand the difference.

How do products Biodegrade?

   Biodegradable products possess an attribute that makes them have the ability to biodegrade to their natural state when exposed to sunlight, water and microbial activity. Once a fluid is leaked into the ground, it has the ability to be digested or consumed by naturally occurring microorganisms present in water, air and soil systems. Complete biodegradability is the conversion of a substance to carbon dioxide and water.

   Commonwealth Oil ensures biodegradability by using an outside testing facility.  biocomm-arrowThese tests included Toxicity Studies with Daphnia Magna fish, Element Analysis for Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Sulfur. It is important to remember that just because a product is biodegradable, does not mean it is non-toxic. The ‘Aquatic Toxicity’ level will tell you if it is toxic, this information can be provided by the manufacturer. All BioComm products are non-toxic to very low toxicity and are ’Readily Biodegradable’.

What is ‘Readily Biodegradable’?

   Products are considered ’Readily Biodegradable’ when they have the natural ability to biodegrade to their natural state, when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity, by greater than 60% in 28 days. BioComm products biodegrade to their natural state by greater thangraph 80% in 28 days.

What is ’Inherently Biodegradable’?

   When a product is classified as ’Inherently Biodegradable’, it means it will biodegrade to its natural state, when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity by atleast 20% to less than 60% in 28 days.   

   We’re finding many lubricant companies (including major oil companies) are claiming their products are biodegradable by using industry language very loosely. There is still a lot of confusion surrounding these terms, as consumers never understand the differences and this appears to be the goal of many competitors. Companies are able to deceive and mislead with smoke and mirrors by using words like ‘biodegradable’ or ‘environmentally friendly’. When Commonwealth Oil says a product is biodegradable, we mean it in the true sense of the word. Important questions to ask when customers require biodegradable products:
      1. Is there a toxicity specification you have to meet?
      2. Is the ultimate consumer requiring ‘Readily Biodegradable’ or ‘Inherently Biodegradable’?
      3. What is the application?


Biodegradable Products

By Michele Breault

Commonwealth Oil Corporation has taken on the task of creating a complete line of environmentally safe lubricants. These lubricants will be biodegradable and non-toxic.

Why is biodegradability of a lubricant important?
The significance of this question is realized by the fact that we are more aware of our environmental surroundings and the impact these have on our everyday lives.

What is biodegradability anyway?
According to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), biodegradation is the process of chemical breakdown or transformation of a material caused by organisms or their enzymes. Biodegradability means that a material has the proven capability to decompose into nontoxic soil, water, carbon dioxide or methane within three years in the particular environment into which this material is being disposed.

As environmental concerns increase, biodegradability will become a higher priority as a desirable lubricant property.

Now with that said we are pleased to announce that we have released the first product in our Biodegradable Line-up, BioComm CFR 80. This is a readily biodegradable Form Oil. We also have a second Form Oil due out in the next 30 days.

We are committed to providing high-quality, high-endurance compounds that exceed traditional industry standards, while ensuring sound manufacturing processes that are environmentally responsible.

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