Sustainable base stocks are transforming the lubricants industry

Engine oil for cars over 10 years old
15 February 2024

The lubricants industry is undergoing a quiet but significant revolution, driven by the adoption of sustainable base stocks in the formulation of these products. 

This shift towards sustainability is not only responding to growing environmental demands, but is also redefining the efficiency and performance of lubricants in various industrial applications.

 What are base stocks? 

Sustainable base stocks are becoming the backbone of the new generation of lubricants, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional sources. These base stocks, derived from renewable raw materials such as vegetable oils and other biodegradable resources, are replacing conventional base stocks of mineral origin in some applications. 

This change not only reduces dependence on non-renewable resources, but also minimizes the carbon footprint of lubricants, aligning with sustainability objectives such as protecting water, flora, and fauna, saving energy, reducing waste, and using recyclable packaging. 

Base stock characteristics 

  • Biodegradability: sustainable base stocks have a higher biodegradability than mineral base stocks, contributing to waste reduction and improving the lubricant's life cycle. This translates into less environmental impact during production, use, and final disposal. 
  • Efficiency and performance: contrary to common belief, sustainable base stocks do not compromise performance. In fact, in many cases, they offer superior lubrication and wear protection properties, resulting in increased equipment durability. 
  • Regulatory compliance: the adoption of sustainable base stocks not only complies with increasingly stringent environmental regulations, but also reinforces corporate social responsibility. 

Repsol Lubricants: a leader in sustainable innovation 

At Repsol, one of our priorities is the environment, which is why we are at the forefront of this transformation, leading the way in the adoption of sustainable base stocks in our products. We have set goals to significantly reduce our environmental impact, taking steps towards decarbonization and aligning ourselves with our commitment to be a low or zero carbon footprint company. 

For this reason, many of our research efforts are aimed at obtaining products that respect sustainable development: 

  • Lubricants with lower viscosities that contribute to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
  • New formulations with a higher resistance to degradation, thus seeking to increase the time between oil changes or to reach said time in the most optimal conditions.
  • New molecules to replace those traditionally found in oils, in order to ensure compatibility with after-treatment systems that reduce pollutant emissions from vehicles.
  • Lubricants obtained from the regeneration of used oils.
  • Formulated with oils of renewable origin and biodegradable lubricating oils.

At Repsol, we not only adapt to sustainability trends, but also lead the transition to a future where lubricants play a key role in building a cleaner and more efficient industry.