Society is challenged by the ever-increasing demand for energy, goods and services. One of the many tasks of academic research is to contribute to the rapid technical advances that can be put to practical use. The development of sustainable technologies is a prime example of how academic research can lead to improvements in applied technological solutions for the benefit of man and planet.
Living in a world where almost everything is produced by machines, exploring how to make the machines work more efficiently and with longer service time appears to be an approach for great energy and resources saving, where improved lubricant technology has an important role to play.
As a PhD student in machine design, I have been looking for more sustainable substitutions for traditional mineral lubricants. Bio-based lubricants are great candidates for their superior environmental benefits, including high biodegradability, renewability, low toxicity and low bioaccumulation, yet their technical performance is not always satisfied and high cost resist them from higher appeal. One solution is to design hybrid lubricants by mixing the mineral and bio-based lubricants to find a balance of environmental and technical properties, the role of hybrid lubricant is just like hybrid vehicle which combines the benefits from electrical and gasoline vehicles.
In addition, investigating suitable additives for hybrid lubricants is also a part of my work since additives enhance lubricants with expected properties but their solubility in lubricants is sometimes the issue to solve. Ionic liquids as the most promising lubricant additives due to their tunable properties by changing cation and anion combinations, are also examined in the hybrid lubricants for better lubricant concepts.
Think about the life for your grandchildren and their grandchildren, sustainability is more than just saying.