Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Working on Going Green

So I have been working on changing my chain lube from a mineral oil or synthetic oil to a natural biodegradable oil. I am currently using a animal fat based chain lube that I have found is working every bit as good as any wet lube I have used previously. However, using a animal based product does have some environmental issues of its own...not to mention some ethical issues for some people. So in the mean time, I have been researching plant oils to determine which ones will be the best for chain lubrication. I am close to testing some out soon. In am also looking into using more earth friendly greases and cleaners, with my goal of using all plant based products on my bikes and the bikes that I service. My requirements are these:

-the product must perform to the same level as its mineral or synthetic oil equivalent
-the product must be produced in an environmentally friendly way (ie no deforestation of the rain forest, no heavy pesticides, no large feed lots)
-the product must not be derived from food sources
-the product must be economical

I currently use a Citrus based degreaser that is not totally chemical free. I don't like Simple Green as it doesn't work near as well, but I will be on the lookout for a better citrus product. My grease is mostly petroleum based and I will need to find an acceptable substitute. The soy based greases show promise, but many are lithium based which does not work as well as the waterproof grease I use now IME.

In the meantime, here is a Wiki to some more information

Update...I have ordered and will be trying the Lubrimatic Green Biobased LMX "Red" Grease...it meets the all the criteria on paper, I will see if it meets the criteria in actual use.

Update 1/24/2010...I was formulating a plant oil lubricant based on Canola and Jojoba Oil, however Jojoba Oil solidifies at ~40 degrees F so not a good choice. I have ordered a quart of plant based bar and chain oil which I'm thinking will match or exceed the performance of the G-Oil.

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