Environmentally friendly hydraulic fluids

Shell Oils UK has launched a new range of biodegradable, synthetic hydraulic fluids, to help construction and quarrying companies reduce the risk of contaminating the UK’s forests and waterways.

The new Shell Naturelle range has been formulated using synthetic esters and a specially tailored system of additives. Shell Naturelle will be of particular benefit to hydraulic operations in the construction sector as the UK Environment Agency looks to make the use of biodegradable hydraulic fluids in 360 degree excavators compulsory in all construction contracts from January 1 2005.

Hydraulic systems operate under high pressures and damage to hoses and cylinders or leaks from connections and seals can result in spills. The biodegradable properties of Shell Naturelle mean that in the event of an oil spill, it will be quickly and extensively broken down by the environment’s micro-organisms and converted into harmless carbon dioxide and water as end products. This helps to reduce the level of environmental damage caused by oil spills and can also help to protect companies against costly clean-up bills.

Stuart Crozier, Technical Manager at Shell Oils UK comments: ‘The Environment Agency and the Government are currently working together with UK industry to ensure that all construction contracts stipulate the use of biodegradable hydraulic fluids by 2005. Realising this widespread industry effort, Shell has developed the Naturelle range to help construction companies meet these challenges and comply with forthcoming rulings.

‘Shell Naturelle has already won the backing of the Environment Agency which is using Shell Naturelle in its contracted machinery and vehicles working in environmentally sensitive situations. It is also recommending Shell Naturelle to any companies seeking the Agency’s advice on which environmentally friendly products to use and this is a great endorsement for Shell’s range,’ he added.

The Shell Naturelle range includes hydraulic fluids, greases, gear oils, transmission oils and cleaners. Shell is also supporting the Naturelle product range with a range of oil-spill equipment and an equipment condition monitoring service, Shell eQuip.

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