DoD Sustainable Products Center

Biobased Hydraulic Fluids

Demonstration Overview

A man working on the engine of a tractor.The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation Hazardous Minimization and Green Products Branch and the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE) demonstrated biobased hydraulic fluids for mobile equipment at Department of Defense Installations.

Biobased mobile hydraulic have been designated for Federal procurement preference by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program. The BioPreferred Program defines penetrating lubricants as

“Hydraulic fluids formulated for general use in non-stationary equipment, such as tractors, end loaders, or backhoes.”

The BioPreferred Program established a minimum biobased content of 44 percent for biobased hydraulic fluids.

Before these green and biobased products are utilized by the Military Departments and DoD Components, their performance must be proven to meet DoD requirements. Mobile hydraulic fluid applications and associated equipment were identified at two DoD installations, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) and Fort Bragg. Demonstration Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) were contacted to determine equipment hydraulic fluid requirements. Biobased hydraulic fluids were identified and selected for demonstration based on equipment requirements.

Demonstration Products*

The following biobased products were demonstrated.

  • Bio HYDO Advanced by Caterpillar
  • Panolin HLP Synth E
  • ISO-46 by Panolin America
  • EnviroLogic 3032B by RSC Bio Solutions / Terresolve Technologies Ltd.
  • Bio-SynXtra Powerlift MIL-5606
  • Bio-SynXtra Trans Hydraulic
  • Bio-Fleet Trans-Hydraulic by Renewable Lubricants, Inc.

*Mention of or referral to commercial products, services, and manufacturers herein is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by, nor the official policy or position of, the Department of Defense (DoD), any of its Components, or the U.S. Government.

Demonstration Equipment

Demonstration equipment and biobased hydraulic fluid demonstration products at MCMWTC and Fort Bragg are provided in the following table.

Table of Vehicle Types and the Fluid Demonstration

Demonstration Details

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) uses heavy equipment to maintain training areas in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. MCMWTC is interested in transitioning to biobased hydraulic fluids to reduce potential environmental impacts on their training lands and reduce health and safety issues for operators and maintenance personnel. Fort Bragg uses heavy equipment for public works maintenance.

Installation personnel were provided the demonstration fluids a supply of the products for the demonstration.

Installation personnel changed out the hydraulic fluids in each piece of equipment. Installation operators and maintenance personnel monitored the equipment performance throughout the demonstration period and provided feedback on the product performance. During the winter months, the MCMWTC equipment was operated to temperature reaching -32F.

Based on the demonstration feedback, the biobased biodegradable hydraulic fluids have met installation performance requirements. MCMWTC personnel are completely satisfied with the biobased hydraulic fluid performance. Biobased biodegradable hydraulic fluids have several advantages over petroleum based hydraulic fluids. The lifecycle cost of biobased biodegradable hydraulic fluids can result in cost savings over the life of the equipment. Mobile equipment hydraulic leaks can affect a large area. Biobased biodegradable hydraulic fluids can help lessen the environmental impacts of fluids leaks and spills. In addition the use of biobased biodegradable hydraulic fluids can help sustain a good relationship between the installation and State and Federal regulators, maintaining the DoD mission.

Demonstration Videos

For more information regarding the biobased hydraulic fluids demonstration, please Contact Us.

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