Award

Seed oil-based hydraulic elevator fluid

Across the nation, mineral oil-based fluids arethe common choice for hydraulic lubrication inbuilding elevators. Fire, accidental spillage,environmental toxicity,and disposal hazardsare major concernswith the use of thisexisting technology. Toaddress this problem,scientists at theNational Center forAgricultural UtilizationResearch (NCAUR)developed a newvegetable oil-basedelevator hydraulic fluidfrom renewableresources that isnontoxic andbiodegradable innature, has high fire resistance, and meets allindustrial performance standards.The Statue of Liberty National Monument inNew York is currently using this new fluidtechnology, and the National Park ServiceAdministration has expressed great interest inusing it at numerous state and national parks throughout the United States. As a result ofthis interest, Agricultural Research Service(ARS) personnel and equipment at the NCAURfacility entered into a CRADA with Agri Lube,Inc., of Defiance, Ohio, to provideextensive testing, design, andtechnology licensing assistance tothe company. Agri Lube has sinceapplied for an exclusive license tomanufacture the fluid and marketthe product.The federal government, throughthe National Park Service’s useand support of this new hydraulicfluid, is engaged in a visibleleadership role to increase the useof renewable resources. Theproduct itself offers multiplecompetitive advantages toindustry, and the process of producing andmarketing a new bio-based hydraulic fluidgenerates significant and broad economicbenefits. Seed oil-based hydraulic elevator fluidhas the potential to be the most widely usedtechnology to come from the Department ofAgriculture in recent years.
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Region: 
Midwest