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Impact of oleoyl glycine on biodegradability and lubricity of lubricating oil

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to understand the impacts of oleoyl glycine on biodegradation, friction and wear performances of a mineral lubricating oil. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The biodegradabilities of a neat oil and its formulations with oleoyl glycine were evaluated on a biodegradation tester and the microbial characters in the biodegradation sewage observed through a microscope. Also, the friction and wear performances of neat oil and the formulated oil were determined on a four-ball tribometer. The morphologies and tribochemical features of the worn surfaces were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Findings ‐ Oleoyl glycine markedly enhanced biodegradation of unreadily biodegradable mineral oil and effectively improved its anti-wear and friction-reducing abilities. The enhancement of biodegradability of the mineral oil was preliminarily ascribed to the increment of microbial populations in the biodegradation processes, while the improvement of anti-wear and friction-reducing abilities was mainly attributed to the formation of a boundary adsorption film of oleoyl glycine on the friction surfaces. Originality/value ‐ Oleoyl glycine is a biodegradable and low eco-toxic compound. The authors' work has shown that oleoyl glycine is effective in improving biodegradability and tribological performances of mineral lubricants. Enhancing biodegradability of petroleum-based lubricants by additives is a new attempt. The paper has significance for improving ecological and tribological performances of mineral lubricants, even for developing petroleum-based biodegradable lubricants.
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Keywords: Additives; Biodegradation; Friction; Lubricating oils; Wear

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 20, 2012

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