Cosmo Energy Holdings Co. announced recently that its Carboneut-brand 10W-30 diesel engine oil became the first engine oil accredited to bear the Biomass Mark of the Japan Organics Recycling Association.
JORA’s program aims to promote sustainable business practices by giving a seal of approval to products made largely with plant material.
A growing number of lube marketers in Asia and elsewhere around the world are introducing products made with plant-based ingredients rather than petroleum products.
In a May 26 news release, Cosmo, which is headquartered in Tokyo, said that it was looking into trials for their bio-based lubricants with “a major user.” However, the company declined to disclose further details when contacted by Lube Report.
“The Carboneut 10W-30 is suitable for light-duty and commercial diesel engine vehicles, and because it is a low-ash, [Jaso] DH-2 class type it can also be used for DPF [diesel particulate filter] vehicles,” a Cosmo official told Lube Report.
The company has completed its trial production run for commercialization of the product and expects to begin marketing in August. “When testing the engine, the lubricant has the same quality as the premium synthetic diesel engine oil in the market,” said the press release.
The company plans to develop a series of Carboneut products for the automotive, agricultural and industrial sectors.
A Cosmo official said demand for bio-lubricants is rising because of pressure on automobile manufacturers to reduce emissions and because of growing desire by fleet managers and motorists to comply with sustainability guidelines. In October 2020, the Japanese government said that the country will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and since then it has adopted a variety of policies for encouraging use of electric vehicles, among other changes, in pursuit of that target.
Cosmo said products made from plants generate less carbon dioxide across their life-cycle partly because plants absorb the gas.
While Cosmo claims the first engine oil accredited to carry the Biomass Mark, BP Japan, Sanwa Chemical and Kansai Special Craft Oil Co. have each obtained accreditation for metalworking fluids, according to JORA’s website. The biomass content of those products is listed as ranging from 35% to 80%.
Other lubricant suppliers have similar assessments about rising demand for engine oils with low carbon footprints.
“We assume that there is a certain level of need for products that contribute to carbon neutrality in various fields and industries, including automobile manufacturers,” said an official from Eneos Corp. In April, the Tokyo-based company announced plans to produce biobased lubricants and greases made with its proprietary base oils derived from vegetables such as sugar cane and soy beans by March 31, 2023.