Estolide in Palm Oil – Base as Bio-lubricant Material

Estolide in Palm Oil – Base as Bio-lubricant Material

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - The high potential lubricant needs nationally that reaches about 760 thousand kiloliters per year, gives chances for palm oil downstream industries to produce bio-lubricant material. Besides being environmental, they are abundant in many regions.

Oil – fat: triglycerides has the molecule structure which might be ‘easily’ modified for the active sides, both from the function group  and the double bond in it. The chemical synthetic might perform kinds of chemical derivative within the chemical characteristic/physical target. One prospective product to make by the chemical synthetic by oil – fat, including palm oil is the lubricants for the mechine which is liquid/semi solid non polar within the particular characteristic, such as, viscosity. The viscocity is stable in the temperature, it is durable to the oxydation and others.

The lubricants market potency reaches about 760.000 kiloliter per year in this nation, both for the automotive and industry. It is mostly the same with the consumption ration with the main producer, PT Pertamina having production capacity 600.000 kiloliter per year in total. But the competion of the lubricants now clearly runs for the President’s Decision No. 21 / 2001 has been published and has liberated the lubricantss markets in Indonesia. Of course, this regulation makes more competition. (

The potential chemical compound as the lubricants are estolide – it is fat acid oligomer which is synthetized by acylation in the unsaturated double bond from the fatty acid. Estolid is formed when the fatty acid carbocylate acid group joins with the saturated/unsaturated fatty acid to make oligomer esther.

Through the synthetic, the physical characteristic needs which is adjusted to the lubricants could be fulfilled and even have more advantages than the lubricants produced by petro-chemical products, both in the technical usages and the pollution effect which is small in numbers to the environment.

The advantage of estolide is that it could solve the minor or general issue which the vegetable oil has, such as, the oxydatio is stable to the oxydation, while the lubricants in petrochemical base is not stable. This makes the lubricants take more time to substitute.

Estolide has the low volatility so the flash point and the fire point is high enough. This makes ideal for the estolide to use in the high temperature and it could avoid the things which are easily to burn. Estolide also has the other important property for the lubricants, such as, high index viscosity so it is good to use in the wider temperature range.

(By: Achmad Sofian Nasori & Indra Budi Susetyo /Pusat Teknologi Agroindustri Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi –BPPT, now as BRIN)

Source: InfoSAWIT, September 2016