Growth Seen in Environmentally Considerate Lubricants


2008 saw rapid sales growth for Shell’s expanded range of Environmentally Considerate Lubricants (ECLs), Shell Naturelle. Latest figures show an impressive growth of 16 percent during the year as more and more organizations across the globe realize that the Shell Naturelle range combines outstanding performance with high levels of biodegradability and low ecotoxicity.


The range, which was expanded from Shell Naturelle Hydraulic Fluids (the Shell Naturelle HF range), now includes chain (Shell Naturelle Chain Fluid SM) and gear (Shell Naturelle Gear Fluid EP) lubricants as well as an environmentally considerate grease (Shell Naturelle Grease EP). The expanded range was launched during the second half of 2007 and is fast becoming the preferred choice for companies operating in environmentally sensitive locations.


Applications where the Shell Naturelle range is of particular benefit include total loss applications such as chainsaws, where up to three litres of lubricant can enter the environment each day, and hydraulic earthmoving equipment, where even an apparently small leak of one drop per second can result in a release of up to 200 liters of lubricant per month. For example, Shell Naturelle HF-E continues to be particularly popular for use in heavy duty hydraulic systems for construction and earth moving equipment, having been adopted by a number of the world’s leading construction companies.


Richard Holdsworth, global product marketing manager for innovation and campaigns at Shell Lubricants, stated: “The use of ECLs continue to grow in popularity. Increasingly, industry is recognizing its responsibility to minimize environmental impact, especially when operating in environmentally sensitive areas such as waterways, harbors, forests, mines and ski slopes. The Shell Naturelle range has proved that it can achieve the technical performance of conventional mineral oil-based products, while offering high biodegradability and low ecotoxicity characteristics. This allows operators to fulfil environmental obligations without compromising performance.”


Each product has undergone thorough testing and has met or exceeded the rigorous internationally recognised standards set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These include the OECD 301B test which measures biodegradability by monitoring the conversion of the substance to carbon dioxide, and the OECB 201 – 203 tests, ensuring the lubricant is not harmful to aquatic organisms.


Concludes Holdsworth: “Legislation remains a key driver for companies switching to ECLs, but companies now have first hand proof that, with the Shell Naturelle products, this can be done without having to sacrifice performance. The Shell Naturelle range is part of our long-term commitment to developing lubricants which will help to tackle today’s global environmental challenges.”

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