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Low VOC Lubricant for Manufacturing Clay Pots?

Hi everyone,

I received the following note from one of our Air Quality Division compliance inspectors.  Can anyone help?  Thanks in advance!


I am working with a company which produces clay pots.  The source is apparently subject to the ROP program due to emission of fugitive VOCs. The VOCs are emitted due to the tremendous amount of lubrication that is used in the process.

The company uses #2 fuel oil to lubricate extruders, conveying lines, and molding presses.  The company figures it will use 169,200 gallons of #2 fuel oil a year just to prevent the clay from sticking to the above mentioned surfaces.  

The company also adds a product called Pamac 2 to the fuel oil.  It is a fatty acid.  When combined with the fuel oil, it helps to prevent the clay from sticking to surfaces.

The company has tried to look for other products to use.  Any product that is water based does not work, as it is absorbed into the clay pots.  Is there any product out there that this company can use to reduce its VOC emissions and provide non stick surfaces for the production of the clay pots?   Anything you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Carrie Monosmith
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Environmental Assistance Division
PO Box 30457
Lansing, MI  48909
phone: 517-373-0604
fax: 517-373-3675
email: monosmic@state.mi.us