Lubricants Are Make From Fossil Fuels

Oils and greases of animal and vegetable origin are excellent lubricants, but they are easily degraded by microorganisms and are decomposed by elevated temperatures. Antibacterial agents and thermal stabilizers can be added to improve their properties; for many applications, their instability presents problems. The hydrocarbons derived oils and greases are only slowly affected by microorganisms and are more stable to heat. With additives, hydrocarbons lubricants are rendered almost immune to bacterial attack and are quite heat resistant. This great stability, coupled with low cost and availability, has resulted in the replacement of animal and vegetable oils and greases by hydrocarbon derived lubricants in all but a few specialized applications.

There has been a partial return to oils derived from animal and vegetable sources in the form of the long life oils for automobiles. These oils are stabilized against microbiological attack by alteration of their basic chemical structure. They are excellent lubricants, but are 6-10 times more expensive than hydrocarbon oils. The chemicals used in the processes making them resistant to microbiological attack are themselves derived from hydrocarbons.

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Guide to Alternative Fuels

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