Over the past two decades, there has been an increased awareness of the environmental impact that the large amount of lubricants entering the environment is having. These environmental contaminants come as the result of leakage, throw-off, emissions, spillage and careless disposal of mainly mineral oil based products. In 1999, the U. S. Corps of Engineers coined the term “Environmentally Acceptable Fluids” as those that were readily biodegradable and nontoxic to marine organisms.
1. Sundin Phd., SVB Environmental Lubricants, in his article Sorting out environmentally acceptable fluids, touts the fact that EAFs are gaining in popularity in a variety of applications where the risk to the environment must be minimised. Although they’ve been used in drilling operations for years, mining, forestry, construction, agriculture and municipal services are now turning to EAFs to stay ahead of changing regulations and meet the expectations of stakeholders.
The responsible use of lubricants has become an ongoing responsibility of those who work in industries utilising hydraulic power.
2. Marougy, Lubricant Specialist reports that Governments around the world have enacted regulations aimed at protecting the environment, and they usually carry significant fines and remediation costs for violators. That’s become increasingly important to designers and users of hydraulically powered equipment, especially when operating in wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas.
Some countries in Europe have even restricted the use of non-environmental friendly products and encouraged so-called biodegradable products in sensitive applications
While hydraulic hose and connectors perform better than ever, they still have the potential to leak or rupture and spill fluid. Fluid suppliers have responded by introducing eco-friendly biodegradable and nontoxic fluids based on a variety of chemistries. Unfortunately, none of these fluids is a direct replacement for petroleum-based hydraulic fluid.
Although the term biodegradable has become widely used and accepted as a description of the property required for these ecologically friendly fluids, it is not sufficient criterion for complete environmental acceptability.
Other important considerations include:
– Biodegradability or persistence in the environment
– Bioaccumulation potential
– Toxicity in the air, ground and water
– The nature of the emissions
– Whether or not the source is renewable.
Sundin notes that early generations of biodegradable hydraulic oils were often blends of lower-quality vegetable oils mixed with additives that were developed for petroleum-based oils. These additives often contained compounds that hindered the oil’s natural biodegradability. The result was a hydraulic fluid with poor performance at low temperatures, a short service life, and environmental characteristics that were only marginally better than those of the less-expensive petroleum product that it was replacing.
Now, thanks to advances in base oils and additives, EAFs are bringing much more to the table. New synthetic oils are highly biodegradable and can be used at temperature extremes. Selective breeding and genetic modification have resulted in vegetable seed oils with the same service life as mineral oils. The development of new anti-wear compounds has allowed additive manufacturers to develop products with extremely low toxicity and high biodegradability. These new, nontoxic additives have the same performance as older additives that contain zinc.
Various performance characteristics of the different classes of environmental fluids and where each should be utilised.
Based on the extensive findings from Fluid Power, we can conclude that bio-polyolefin synthetic biodegradable oils perform best in offshore fluid power industry applications, whereas the other three types of fluids are too weak to perform well in these very specific applications.
Marougy advises that all hydraulic fluids, not just biodegradable fluids, must be maintained in good condition. Additives may degrade depending on the fluid condition. Operating a fluid at too high a temperature shortens its life, and the presence of contaminants such as water and particulates can promote oxidation and also shorten the life of the fluid. No fluid is maintenance-free.
While actual life depends on the duty cycle and countless other factors, properly formulated and maintained fluid that’s not exposed to extreme temperatures and contamination will give good life in a wide range of applications. Perhaps the most important system consideration is to maintain the fluid in excellent condition and monitor it frequently to ensure it performs as intended in the hydraulic circuit.
Industrial workplaces are demanding environments for machinery. System failures lead to downtime and higher operational costs Fluid Line reports. Flushing is an important maintenance procedure to prolong life and reliability of hydraulic systems. Thorough system flushing is necessary, and it is often advisable to perform multiple flushes to ensure the system is perfectly clean before adding environmentally friendly fluid.
Mobil, the major American oil company findings show that demand for biodegradable hydraulic oils is expected to increase in the next 10 years. Ever-increasing expectations are put on the performance of any modern hydraulic oil, whether synthetic, conventional mineral or biodegradable.
Although chemically based hydraulic fluids are likely to remain the product of choice for some years as EAFs become a more viable option. More companies are choosing to drive green initiatives and come into line with society’s sentiment as well as government guidelines of reducing the environmental footprint of human activities.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .