Industrial Grease Composition

A few weeks ago new asphalt was being laid down on my street, and during the end of the shift, a back-hoe was parked in front of my house.

It must of been just lubed up because, on the outrigger stabilizers, fresh pink industrial grease was extruding from the bearings.

There was enough for me to scoop up and fill a mayonaise jar halfway.

I started to wonder how this material could be recycled/repurposed.

I filled the jar the rest of the way with gasoline, shook it up, and let sit overnight.

The next day, very red clear liquid sat above mud.pouring this liquid through a strainer and coffee filter, I managed to recover a liter of fluid.

I wondered hou feasible it would be to use this fluid ( approx the viscosity and appearance of ATF) to use as a lubricant or as a diesel substitute.

I figure, in the sump the gasoline would quickly drive off in the heat.

But what is in the grease? Is it a pure hydrocarbon? Made from natural or synthetic feed stock, or is there something in there un-flammable or toxic…lithium grease, silicone, or molybdenum sulfide?


I mean, if I ran this through a diesel engine, would it produce toxic exhaust or poison the catalytic converter? ( i realize some modern diesels have catcons)

It seems to me that unless you knew the composition of the grease you harvested, you’d not be able to answer the question. Aren’t different greases made of different stuffs? How do you know what you’ve got?

95% + of industrial greases are composed largely of mineral oils. A small percentage are synthetic oil based. All you’ve done is take a useful bearing grease and via separating it out with gasoline, turn it into (effectively) adulterated motor oil.

It’s probably got a good dollop of lithium and molybdenum, plus things like surface tension modifiers that help keep it in one place and a bunch of some sort of dye to give it that distinctive color. About the only thing I can take a fairly clear guess at is that since it’s pink, it probably doesn’t have much, if any, graphite.

Other than that, unless you crawl the web and search out brands of pink grease, or if you happened to see a tube of the stuff, we don’t even know if it’s dino-based, full synthetic or a blend.

Unfortunately, I think all you’ve managed to do is ruin a quart of so of gasoline. Unless you’ve got something that runs on gas with a large fuel tank and no emissions controls, (Know anyone with a '57 Chevy?) I wouldn’t try to use it in a car or lawnmower.

Best thing to do might be to take the jar of goo, label it as grease and gasoline, and take it to your local household hazmat collection site.