The Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) and the University of Benin, Edo State, have developed bio-degradable lubricants from black dates and rubber seed oil.
The research objectives, according to Prof. H.D. Ibrahim, Director-General of RMRDC, include building capacity in the auto industry and eradicating, or reducing, the environmental challenges emanating from the use of mineral oil as a base oil for the production of lubricants.
Through the project, the collaborators extracted and characterized crude vegetable oils from the seeds, formulated and developed bio-degradable grease/lubricants of different categories for different functions.
Mineral oils are normally used in grease production, and only 25% of mineral oil-based lubricant is biodegradable. This fuels environmental pollution, disruptions in aquatic wildlife ecosystems and water contamination for humans. Besides environmental pollution, extensive usage of mineral oil has caused depletion of crude oil reserves, increased carbon emissions, and aggravated damage to ozone layers, a great factor in climate change.
The awareness of environmental pollution caused by mineral oil has led the lubricant industries to develop environment-friendly products by replacing mineral oil with biodegradable materials, and in Nigeria, home-grown products are being championed by the two institutions. Guardian