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Environmental fate & pathways

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All of the substances in the calcium salts of monocarboxylic acids C14-C22 category are considered to be readily biodegradable. As the substances in the calcium salts of monocarboxylic acids C14-C22 category are readily biodegradable, the hydrolysis, degradation in surface water, sediment and soil simulation testing and adsorption coefficient have been waived. Calcium salts of monocarboxylic acids C14-C22 category are considered not to bioaccumulate in the environment.

In most cases the reactions to form the grease thickener occur in-situ during the grease manufacturing process and consequently these grease thickeners normally only exist in the base oil matrix. The matrix effect, as recognised by the OECD Lubricant Emission Scenario document (OECD 2004), needs to be taken into account as the process of manufacturing the thickener in an inert base oil is likely to influence factors such as accessibility of the thickeners. In the grease manufacturing process unique interactions, more appropriately defined as physical bonding effects, occur between the base oils and the thickeners. The chemistry is complex and interactions between the thickener and base oil do not strictly fall under the definitions of a reaction product nor do they act as a simple mixture of components. In realistic use scenarios, the thickeners will be contained in base oil, with the formulated greases specifically designed to minimise the leaching of the thickener. Therefore during use, the concentrations of the substances which would be bioaccessible are limited.

References

OECD (2004) OECD Series on emission scenario documents, Number 10: Emission scenario document on lubricants and lubricant additives. Environment directorate: Joint meeting of the chemicals committee and the working part on chemicals, pesticides and biotechnology. ENV/JM/MONO(2004)21

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