News Release from Klüber Lubrication München SE & Co.KG


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Reduction of energy costs and CO2 emissions through use of speciality lubricants – is that possible?

Munich, September 2007 – As one of the biggest challenges of today, the reduction of CO2 emissions has become a major issue with R&D engineers and industrial consumers alike. There is a general consent that no "quick solution" is to be had, but many individual steps will need to be taken. A highly effective approach that can be easily implemented is the use of speciality lubricants. Without further action being required, the changeover from, for example, a conventional mineral oil may cause measurable energy reductions in gears or compressors, hence leading to lower CO2 emissions if the equipment is powered by fossil fuels. In a worm gear, for instance, a polyglycol oil that has replaced a mineral-oil-based lubricant reduces power loss, increasing the gear's efficiency by up to 15 %. This is due to the better friction behaviour of the polyglycol base oil. As this entails a lower energy consumption, savings in operating costs are automatic.

An example from the transport sector may help to give an idea of the savings potential that there is:
A major airport may use as many as 20,000 different gears, comprising approx. 15,000 spur and bevel gears with a mean power of 5 kW and 5,000 worm gears with a mean power of 15 kW. Assuming 4,000 operating hours per year and a 40 percent utilization rate of the gears, total power consumption is at approx. 240 GWh. If, now, a polyglycol special oil is used instead of a mineral oil, the efficiency of all gears is increased by 10 percent on average. The consequent electricity savings amount to 24 GWh.

According to a recent publication by the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt), the generation of one kilowatt hour of electrical power in Germany in 2005 produced on average 616 g of carbon dioxide. A consumption reduction by 24 GWh will according to this example lead to 15,000 t of CO2 less that is emitted per year.

Besides the lower impact on the environment, the use of such speciality lubricants offers a number of other interesting aspects. It is not only the considerably reduced energy costs amounting to several million euros, depending on the current price for energy, that have a positive effect on the TCO (total cost of ownership) balance of a particular application. The synthetic gear and high-temperature oils Klübersynth GH 6, for example, have a much longer service life than mineral oils because they are more resistant to ageing and oxidation. The user of these industrial gear lubricants, which are approved for a wide range of applications, may therefore extend servicing intervals and in some cases even attain lifetime lubrication. These aspects are of course extremely attractive for R&D engineers designing gears as they offer them scope for optimizing their products.
Klüber Lubrication München KG
Bettina Lutz, Publicis Consultants l Deutschland GmbH (GPRA)

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