A new biodegradable vegetable-oil lubricant could completely replace petroleum-based motor oil in everything from cars to chain saws, say the Colo.-based inventors, who recently received a patent for their innovation. Meanwhile, two researchers from New York have won a patent for an environmentally friendly solvent that cleans clothes, an alternative to the toxic pechloroethylene (Perc), which has become a mainstay of the dry-cleaning industry.