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Acute toxicity investigations of ester-based lubricants by using biotests with algae and bacteria

: Michel, K.; Brinkmann, C.; Hahn, S.; Dott, W.; Eisenträger, A.


Environmental toxicology 19 (2004), Nr.4, S.445-448
ISSN: 1520-4081
International Symposium on Toxicity Assessment (ISTA) <11, 2003, Vilnius>
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Konferenzbeitrag
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
synthetic ester lubricant; ecotoxicity; Tri-n-butyl phosphate; algae growth inhibition

Although ester-based lubricants are ecologically acceptable due to their good biodegradability, there are still some environmental ecotoxicological impacts that have to be considered. Information on the acute ecotoxicological behavior of lubricants is obtained in this work using several single species bioassays. In previous studies it was observed that lubricating fluids containing additives for the enhancement of their technical performance were more problematic than base fluids especially with respect to algae growth inhibition. In order to clarify the influence of additives, the anti-wear additive tri-n-butyl phosphate was tested. It was very toxic to algae though not to bacteria. Additionally, a mixture of this additive with a base fluid is characterized. Despite the high toxicity of the single additive, the water extract of the mixture of tri-n-butyl phosphate with hydraulic base fluid caused almost no toxicity. Therefore, tri-n-butyl phosphate cannot explain the effect observed for the toxicity of water extracts of the commercially available lubricants.