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Measuring the environmental 
friendliness of lubricants


Base oil classification
An important part of the available lubricants is manufactured on a basis of semi-synthetic derivatives of vegetable oil (mainly rapeseed oil) and animal fat. The semi-synthetic lubricants are esters of an alcohol (often trimethylolpropane (TMP) derived from petrochemicals) and fatty acids (often derived from rapeseed oil).

The distinction between mineral, vegetable and synthetic can also be found in the base oil classification that is being used by the Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagebau (VDMA) for hydraulic fluids. The VDMA sheets indicate the minimal technical properties for the application of ecological hydraulic fluids (for more information: Technical requirements).

Hydraulic fluids based on triglycerides (HETG) or ‘Pure Plant Oil’ (PPO)
Hydraulic oils based on esters (HEES);
Hydraulic oils based on polyglycols (HEPG).