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Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluids – Tech Tip

TECH TIP  Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluids – Excellent Choice


As the weather starts to warm, we turn our thoughts to spending time outside and being able to enjoy nature.  Many of the lubricants we sell today impact our environment as they may come in contact with soil and ground water, many due to inadvertent leaks in outdoor hydraulic systems. Everyday vehicles like buses with hydraulic lifts, tree trimmer bucket trucks and electrical lift trucks, garbage trucks and large construction vehicles all have the potential to leak oil onto the ground. Many advancements have been made in hydraulic fluids to make them better or less damaging to the environment and there are several excellent Petro-Canada Lubricants choices of biodegradable fluids in a variety of viscosity grades.


First, we need to understand some terms when it comes to biodegradability.

According to OECD 301B a product is:


  • INHERENTLY BIODEGRADABLE if 20-60% of the product degrades within 28 days.
  • READILY BIODEGRADABLE requires greater than 60% of the product to biodegrade within 28 days.


These definitions are important and may influence the decision of the customer. Local regulations generally drive these decisions, but generally there are fewer fines if the product meets some form of biodegradability.


Petro-Canada LubricantsInherently biodegradable hydraulic oils:


  • Hydrex® Extreme – Very High VI – Zine Free oil for Extreme cold – IM-8011E
  • Environ® AW – Zinc Free 32-46-68 hydraulic oils – IM-7961E
  • Environ® MV – Very High VI 32 & 46 –Zinc Free hydraulic oils- IM-7962E


Petro-Canada LubricantsReadily biodegradable hydraulic oils:


  • Hydrex® MV Arctic 15 – Very High VI – Zinc Containing Very Low Temp ISO 15- IM 8089E
  • Environ® MV-R – Very High VI – Zinc Free- 32-46 10,000+ hour oxidation stability – IM 8166E


All of the Petro-Canada Lubricants’ biodegradable products can also be easily recycled through normal oil recovery programs and our Environ® products are non-toxic as well.

Our latest readily biodegradable Environ® MV-R products are excellent for applications with potential environmental exposure. They have greater than 70% degradation, extreme low and high temperature range and offer many benefits compared to ester and vegetable-based lubricants currently in the market.

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