We report on the synthesis, characterisation, and physical and tribological properties of halogen-free ionic liquids based on various chelated orthoborate anions with different phosphonium cations, both without halogen atoms in their structure. Important physical properties of the ILs including glass transition temperatures, density, viscosity and ionic conductivity were measured and are reported here. All of these new halogen-free orthoborate ionic liquids (hf-BILs) are hydrophobic and hydrolytically stable liquids at room temperature. As lubricants, these hf-BILs exhibit considerably better antiwear and friction reducing properties under boundary lubrication conditions for steel-aluminium contacts as compared with fully formulated (15W-50 grade) engine oil. Being halogen free these hf-BILs offer a more environmentally benign alternative to ILs being currently developed for lubricant applications.