New raw materials for the lubricant industry
The aim of the PHAt project is to investigate new bio-based and biodegradable raw materials for use in lubricants and solid film lubricants. The focus is on the development of environmentally friendly thickeners. While currently used thickeners are often based on environmentally unfriendly metal soaps or contain fluorine, the project is pursuing a completely new approach. The consortium is investigating whether the bio-based and biodegradable polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in modified form are suitable as thickeners. The PHAs are produced in bacteria, isolated and then chemically modified in order to obtain optimal flow properties in the lubricant. At the same time, the lubricant should remain temperature and oxygen stable without impairing the biodegradability of the thickener. If the project is successful, improved and at the same time environmentally friendly thickeners for the lubricant industry will be produced.