UM News Story default placeholder

UM Rosenstiel School Promotes A Greener Way to Drive

By Diana Udel

UM Rosenstiel School Promotes A Greener Way to Drive

By Diana Udel
School’s using biosynthetic motor oil in its fleet of passenger vehicles on Virginia Key campus

MIAMI – The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is using a greener, cleaner motor oil on its Virginia Key campus. California-based Biosynthetic Technologies provided the new type of biosynthetic motor oil – made from bio-based sources – for use in the school’s fleet of passenger vehicles.

Nearly 40 percent of pollution in America’s waterways is from used motor oil. Motor oil is a leading cause of water pollution in the U.S. because over 50% of all used oil ends up in the environment from leaking onto roads or from improper collection and disposal. In Florida, urban pollution from used motor oil is a major problem. When it rains, motor oil is washed from the roads into nearby waterways, including the Miami River, Biscayne Bay and into the ocean.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to protect the environment around our campus,” said Richard Behn, director of UM Rosenstiel School’s marine operations. “This environmentally friendly motor oil will help us do that.”

Biosynthetic motor oil is a high performing, fully synthetic, bio-based oil certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API) as an alternative to petroleum-based motor oil. This biosynthetic base oil, made from plants or algae, is biodegradable, non-toxic, non bio-accumulative, carbon neutral, and fully recyclable.

“As a global leader in environmental research, we are pleased to partner with the UM Rosenstiel School to advance this new clean motor oil technology on campus,” said Allen Barbieri, CEO of Biosynthetic Technologies.

Working with the USDA, Biosynthetic Technologies developed the new bio-based “drop-in” synthetic alternative to petroleum-based oils used in motor oils and industrial lubricants. This biosynthetic oil, known as Estolides, has the potential to greatly reduce environmental and human health challenges associated with petroleum. Extensive testing has shown that using biosynthetic motor oil can result in a cleaner engine and better fuel economy than petroleum motor oil.

About Biosynthetic Technologies
Located in Irvine, CA, Biosynthetic Technologies holds exclusive rights to patented technology that converts fatty acids found in plant and animal oils into high performance synthetic oils that can be used in lubricant, personal care and other chemical sectors. These "biosynthetic" base oils exhibit many superior characteristics to petroleum lubricant oils. Biosynthetic Technologies is a privately held company funded in part by multiple Fortune 500 companies. First-mover advantage and patented technology make Biosynthetic Technologies a market leader in the sustainable chemicals sector.


About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, visit: