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Bio-based Fluids Help Keep the Emerald Coast Green

May 24, 2013
Today’s “bio-friendly” hydraulic fluids have succeeded in debunking the myth that “green” products fail to work effectively for waste management fleet vehicles. Bio-friendly hydraulic fluids can not only meet or exceed the performance of conventional petroleum-based fluids, but also help reduce financial and environmental risk.
Fluids in the field

Today’s “bio-friendly” hydraulic fluids have succeeded in debunking the myth that “green” products fail to work effectively for waste management fleet vehicles. Bio-friendly hydraulic fluids can not only meet or exceed the performance of conventional petroleum-based fluids, but also help reduce financial and environmental risk.

Fluids in the field

Florida’s Emerald Coast Utilities Authority replaced petroleum-based fluids in its hydraulic systems with natural ester-based fluids six years ago and reported positive results.

Sustained use in the Emerald Coast of Florida has shown the value of incorporating readily biodegradable hydraulic fluids into waste management fleets. The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), Pensacola, Fla.,  provides water, wastewater, and sanitation services and has implemented key sustainability projects in the region under the “Live Green” program.

To reduce the negative impact of fluid spills, ECUA standardized on EnviroLogic 168 — a bio-friendly and readily biodegradable hydraulic fluid from RSC Bio Solutions, Indian Trail, N.C. ECUA has been using the EnviroLogic 168 in its fleet since 2007 and has switched over nearly 400 pieces of equipment from petroleum-based fluids — waste collection and sewer vacuum trucks, loader backhoes, etc. In addition, all of ECUA’s drivers carry spill kits on board, allowing them to react quickly and effectively to minimize the initial impact of a spill.

EnviroLogic 168 is a natural ester-based fluid and demonstrates excellent low and high temperature viscosity performance and has high anti-wear characteristics. It is a non-hazardous ISO 68 and SAE 5W40 multiviscosity grade hydraulic oil and a direct replacement for petroleum based fluids. It is also readily biodegradable according to ASTM 5864, meaning that it degrades by at least 60% within 28 days.

User cites benefits

“When we started looking for a suitable bio-friendly alternative to petroleum-based hydraulic fluids, we realized that not all readily biodegradable fluids are the same,” explained Mike Powell, ECUA’s materials management supervisor. “In order to meet the high-performance needs of our waste fleets and equipment, we had to find solutions that would help protect the environment and our customers without performance trade-offs. RSC Bio Solutions’ EnviroLogic brand hydraulic fluids are the only products [we found] that fulfill both of those needs. The results we’ve seen over the past six years have been exceptional.”

ECUA has worked closely with regulatory agencies to recognize reduced impact of spills with bio-friendly fluids, including response time, costs, repairs, and, ultimately, productivity. ECUA has experienced this result first hand because its frequency of reporting hazardous spills to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has decreased.

ECUA has also seen marked improvement in their vehicle maintenance program. Oil sampling and analysis provided by RSC Bio Solutions, coupled with EnviroLogic 168’s high wear protection and long life cycle allow ECUA to change out fluid less frequently. The bio-based hydraulic fluids not only help keep equipment running, but also provide intrinsic health and safety benefits for the employees who interact with the hydraulic equipment regularly.

For more information, contact RSC Bio Solutions at (877) 464-4865, or visit www.rscbio.com.

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