Bio-based products have gained immense popularity in recent years owing to increasing global awareness regarding the sustainability, biodegradability & environmental compatibility of such products. Biolubricants are one such product that has been introduced as a sustainable alternative to conventional lubricants in the automotive & manufacturing industries.
Numerous regulations such as the Clean Water Act & Code of Federal Regulations (Oil Spill Protection) in the U.S., and the Product Stewardship (Oil) Regulations 2000 in Asia Pacific are encouraging biodegradable lubricants & industrial oils in place of conventional lubes that tend to pollute water bodies & the environment in case of a spill or leakage.
Vegetable & plant-based lubricating oils have high oleic content therefore making them more suitable over conventional lubricants. Properties such as high lubricity, low-lubricant consumption, energy-efficiency offset the disadvantages of other lubricants.
Over the past few years, the use of lubricants in industries such as consumer, automotive, & commercial transportation has increased significantly. Similar trends are anticipated to prevail over the forecast period, owing to growing awareness regarding higher vehicle efficiency with timely maintenance. Consumers are also increasingly demanding products with lower carbon footprints in lieu of transitioning regulatory standards & rising education levels. These factors are expected to drive the demand for eco-friendlier versions of lubricants.
North America is currently the largest producer of bio-lubricants owing to its expensive & highly advanced automotive industry, which is further fostered by the recovery of the U.S. economy. However, Asia Pacific is anticipated to emerge as the fastest growing region owing to various government schemes promoting domestic manufacturing activities such as the ‘Make in India’ program. These schemes are fostering industrialization in several Asian emerging economies, which is likely to boost bio-lubricant consumption in industrial & other applications.
Biolubricants industry is dominated by a few major players, despite the entry of new participants that are vying for a larger chunk of the market share. Major companies in the industry include Royal Dutch Shell, Total S.A., British Petroleum, UBL, Chevron and ExxonMobil. Other key participants include Emery Oleochemicals, Petronas Lubricants International, Castrol, Binol Lubricants, Kluber International, Albemarle Corporation and several others. Intensive R&D efforts by companies such as Castrol are attempting to introduce low-cost, efficient processes for plant-based lubricant production. These factors may also influence market dynamics once commercialized to a larger extent.
In-depth report on global biolubricants market by Grand View Research: