Biolubricants are derived from natural esters (triglycerides of vegetable oils). They can be extracted and manufactured from rapeseed, coconut, sunflower, and soyabean. In spite of them being manufactured from natural sources, biolubricants are less of a match for petrochemical lubricants, in terms of performance. They are a renewable energy source, biodegradable, and emit zero greenhouse gas.
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The high viscosity of biolubricants makes them permeable to high-temperature applications. It also turns them into good anti-corrosion agents. Advancements in biolubricants and addition of new oxidative agents and anti-oxidants are expected to drive the market. But high prices of raw materials and average performance of these lubricants can hinder the biolubricants market.
The demand for biolubricants will reach a volume of around 915.4 kilotons (KTs) by 2020, at around 6% CAGR from 2014 to 2020 (forecast phase). It is projected to earn about USD 2.6 billion by the end of the aforementioned phase.
Biolubricants are made using certain raw materials. These include animal oils and vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are majorly consumed by the regions of North America and Europe. They constitute over 80% of the biolubricants market and would dominate in the future.
Biolubricants find applications in automotive oils, hydraulic oils, lubricating grease, process oils, chainsaw oils, demolding oils, compressor oils, and industrial gear oils. Hydraulic oils are used in excavators and forklifts. The demand for automotive oils exceeded 150 KTs in 2013. Preference for bio-based oils in automobiles will drive this application, especially in North America and Europe.
Automotives, commercial transportation, and industrial are the end-users of the biolubricants market. Industrial accounted for more than 50% of the worldwide consumption in 2013. It witnessed a demand of 297.5 KTs in the same year. Commercial transportation would experience the fastest growth (at around 6.7% CAGR) in the forecast phase.
With respect to geographies, North America was the biggest consumer of the biolubricants market, with demand exceeding about 343.7 KTs by 2020. The region would lead the market in the said phase. Europe will undergo moderate growth in the same phase following strict policies in regards to utilization of synthetic lubricants in America and Europe.
Key companies like Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Chevron, and Shell captured around 65% of the global biolubricants market in 2013.
Information Source: Radiants Insights