DoD Sustainable Products Center

Biobased Two-Cycle Engine Oils

Demonstration OverviewImage shows 5 machines, including weed trimmers and chain saws.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation Hazardous Minimization and Green Products Branch and the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE) demonstrated biobased two-cycle engine oils at Department of Defense Installations.

Biobased two-cycle engine oils have been designated for Federal procurement preference by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program. The BioPreferred Program defines two-cycle engine oils as

"Lubricants designed for use in 2-cycle engines to provide lubrication, decreased spark plug fouling, reduced deposit formation, and/or reduced engine wear"

The BioPreferred Program established a minimum biobased content of 34 percent for biobased two-cycle engine oils.

Before these green and biobased products are utilized by the Military Departments and DoD Components, their performance must be proven to meet DoD requirements. Two-cycle engine oil applications and associated equipment were identified at three DoD installations, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC), Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) and Joint Base Charleston (JBC). Demonstration Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) were contacted to determine equipment two cycle engine oil requirements. Biobased two cycle engine oils were identified and selected for demonstration based on equipment requirements.

Demonstration Products

The following biobased products were demonstrated.

Image shows 4 types of oil and liquids.

  • G-OIL Two-Cycle Green Engine Oil by Green Earth Technologies
  • Bio-SynXtra TC-WII Two-Cycle Engine Oil by Renewable Lubricants, Inc.
  • EnviroLogic 440 by Terresolve Technologies/RSC BioSolutions
  • EvoShield Two-Cycle Engine Oil by Amyris Inc.

Demonstration Equipment

The equipment selected for this demonstration contains air cooled two-cycle engines. The equipment consisted of facilities maintenance and landscaping equipment as edgers, trimmers, blowers, chainsaws, and concrete saws. Field demonstrations of were performed at the MCMWTC, JBLM and JBC in the following equipment.

Table of types of engines and their model numbers.

Demonstration DetailsImage of a soldier with a trimmer.

The demonstration products were provided to installation personnel. Installation personnel used the biobased two-cycle engine oil products in their equipment in place of their current two cycle engine oils. Fuel mixing was performed by installation personnel per standard methods using the fuel:oil ratio contained in equipment manuals and facility procedures. Equipment operators reported that the equipment operated satisfactorily and performance was not diminished using the biobased two cycle engine oils. The operators also reported that the equipment produced less visible smoke and odor than the base petroleum two cycle engine oils.

Biobased two-cycle engine oils have substantial Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health (ESOH) advantages over petroleum based two-cycle engine oils. Biobased two-cycle engine oils produce low or no smoke, lower emissions, and they are non-toxic. The biobased two cycle engine oil demonstration products have flash points ranging from 266 to 365F while petroleum two-cycle engine oils typically have flash points ranging from 150 to 170F. Two-cycle engine oils are considered total loss lubricants as they are consumed during use and cannot be recycled or recovered. Biobased two cycle engine oils can reduce the consumption of foreign petroleum when implemented as an alternative to petroleum two-cycle engine oils. In addition, the biobased two-cycle engine oil demonstration products are comparable in cost to the baseline petroleum two-cycle engine oils.

Demonstration Contact Information

For more information regarding the biobased two cycle engine oil demonstrations, please Contact Us.