Atlanta, GA. (December 2021) – M&I Materials Inc announced that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label for its two natural ester transformer fluids – MIDEL eN 1204 and MIDEL eN 1215.

The fluids, already well-established in the industry, are used worldwide in distribution and power transformers. Both fluids are extremely fire-safe (K class), readily biodegradable, moisture tolerant and can extend the life of a transformer’s internal paper insulation – qualities absent from conventional transformer fluids such as mineral oil.

Anthony Coker, head of M&I Materials’ operations in the Americas, said: “MIDEL natural ester fluids provide utilities and transformer manufacturers with additional sustainability and environmental credentials. They are already frequently specified by OEMs and end users. For example, earlier in 2021, MIDEL eN 1215 was used in an underground substation in downtown Milwaukee, featuring two 65 MVA/138/13.2 kV transformers.”

MIDEL eN 1215 ester fluid is made from renewable soybean crops, delivering excellent performance in sealed transformers in temperate climates. It has a pour point of -18°C and a fire point greater than 300°C. 

MIDEL eN 1204 is also a high-performance natural ester transformer fluid, made from renewable canola crops. It delivers very effective cold weather performance with its -31°C pour point and is deployed around the world in sealed transformers. MIDEL eN 1204 was recently specified by Philippines transformer manufacturer, First Philec, for its new range of fully recyclable transformers and has been proven effective in many industrial retrofill projects in North America.

Anthony Coker continued, “Biobased transformer insulating fluids have immediate K-class/fire safety benefits which you don’t get with fluids like mineral oil and other O-class substitutes. Our natural ester transformer fluids are much better for the environment and demonstrably sustainable. These fluids enable transformer manufacturers, electric utilities and heavy industry to innovate and develop safer, lower total cost and greener power networks for the country.”

Third-party verification for a product’s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, which aims to increase the development, purchase and use of biobased products. Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that exacerbate global climate change.

Vernell Thompson from the USDA BioPreferred Program said, “Products from M&I Materials Inc are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum.” According to a report that the USDA released in July 2019, biobased products contributed $459 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 (a 17% increase from 2014).

M&I Materials recently released its Sustainability Policy, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a guide to identifying how it will contribute to a sustainable future.