You deleted the emissions system from your GMC..the ozone layer called and said thanks. Can you at least use biodegradable lubes on the bridge your building to access your new hunting lease?

Biodegradable hydraulic oils are often required for operations working in and around waterways, forests and fragile ecosystems. In the event of a spill, the biodegradable nature of these fluids reduces the probability that animals and ecosystems will suffer lasting consequences. The two different types of biodegradable we’ll touch on here are readily biodegradable and inherently biodegradable. 

First, let’s define biodegradable. According to Webster’s, biodegradable is a substance or object that’s capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms.

When a product is inherently biodegradable, it will biodegrade to its natural state, when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity from as little as 20% to less than 60% in 28 days. Readily biodegradable products will biodegrade to their natural state when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity from 60% to 100% in 28 days. In general, readily biodegradable materials biodegrade more rapidly and completely that inherently biodegradable. 60% minimum in 28 days vs. 20% min in 28 days.

What those definitions mean is: inherently biodegradable products biodegrade at least 20% in 28 days and readily biodegradable products biodegrade at least 60% in 28 days.

The base stocks and additives used in the manufacturing of biodegradable hydraulics are what gives it the biodegradability. For example, some products are formulated with vegetable and ester base oils. On the additive side, often we see Zinc anti-wear (AW) packages replaced with more eco friendly phosphate packages. 

If you’re bidding on a job that calls for eco friendly hydraulic oils, you should know which type of biodegradability they’re referencing.