Bio-lubricant is also known as bio-based lubricants or bio-lubes. They are produced from raw materials such as canola, sunflower, soybean, palm, and coconut oils. These lubricants are environment friendly, highly biodegradable, non-toxic, and safe for personnel who are handling engines and hydraulic systems.
On the basis of base oil type, the global bio-lubricant market is categorized into vegetable oil, animal fats, and others. The vegetable oil market is further categorized into edible and non-edible oil. The market of vegetable oil holds the largest share due to its wide adoption in both household and industrial applications. Also, production process of bio-based lubricants is eco-friendly and through natural sources.
Based on the product, the bio-lubricant market is categorized into hydraulic fluids, metalworking fluids, engine oil, drilling oil, process oils, chainsaw oil, two-cycle engine oils, mold release agents, general industrial oil, gear oil, greases, and others. Hydraulic fluids application category is expected to hold the largest share in the market. Hydraulic fluids are widely used as a medium for transferring power and energy in hydraulic systems. In addition, bio-lubricant as hydraulic fluids are preferred choice in areas where contamination can harm the environment. Hence, such wide applicability of these fluids drives its demand, globally.
On the basis of end use industry, the bio-lubricant market is classified into automotive, marine, construction, metallurgy and metal working, power generation, oil and gas, and others. The automotive category accounted for the largest share in the market. The properties of these lubricants such as low toxicity, high viscosity index, high load-carrying abilities, high ignition temperature, and low emissions into the atmosphere, increases its demand from the automotive applications, thus fuelling the market growth.
Bio-based lubricants offer several advantages over conventionally used petroleum-based products, in that these are non-toxicity, renewable, and environment friendly. Owing to high flash point and high stability, bio-based lubricants are relatively safer to use over conventional lubricants. This has resulted in a shift in preference of consumers from petrol-based lubricants to bio-based lubricants, thus forming a major trend in the bio-lubricant market.
The major growth drivers identified in the global bio-lubricant market is the government initiatives towards promoting the use of bio-based lubricants for various applications. The government of various countries is also providing funding to encourage the use of these lubricants in order to combat with the increasing environment concerns around the world. This is so as the use of these lubricants offers various advantages such as toxic chemical reduction, improved water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Hence, increasing governmental support is expected to drive the market growth.
The processes involved in the production of bio-based lubricants requires higher cost. Also, exploring niche application areas of these lubricants is expensive. Hence, bio-based lubricants cost is the higher as compared to petroleum-based lubricants, thus forming a major restraint in the bio-lubricant market.
Emerging applications and introduction of legislations related to the use of environment-friendly lubricants is expected to provide huge growth opportunity to industry players operating in the bio-lubricant market. Emerging applications of these lubricants in the market due to their superior properties over conventional types are expected to create lucrative opportunities for the industry players.
Insights by geography
Europe is the largest consumer of these lubricants in the bio-lubricant market. The largest growth in the region is attributable to the presence of various emission standards and the use of biodegradable products. North American is expected to register the highest growth in the coming years. This is backed by high investments by bio-based lubricants manufacturers for new product launches and the expansion of their production capacities to increase market leadership.
Some of the major players operating in the global bio-lubricant market are ExxonMobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Total S.A., Chevron Corporation, Fuchs Petrolub SE, Panolin International Inc., Emery Oleochemicals Group, Quaker Chemical Corp., Renewable Lubricants Inc., and Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing, Inc.