What Is Used Oil?
Recycled Base Oil : Used oil or waste oil is any type of mineral oil used in the production and industrial processes as lubricants or heat transmitter. During the operation, the oil reacts with oxygen and produces unsaturated polar compounds or asphalt. Moreover, it may also get contaminated by impurities such as dust, fuels, carbon, and metal particles. Therefore, it loses efficiency for the process. Indeed, most of the oil lubricants in machines lose functionality due to all possible contamination by chemical additives and the byproducts of the operation.
Used oil includes a variety of origins such as:
- Industrially used oils: gear oil, engine oil
- Emulsions: cutting oil, soluble oil
- Clear and transparent oil
- Transformer oil
Industrial waste oil and motor oil, also known as the black oil, form the major portion of the used oil.
The quality and contamination rate of the used oil varies according to the type and the quality of the fuel, and the mechanical condition of the engine. Additionally, the amount of released gases from the fuel effects used oil’s quality. These gases make the oil acidic. Metal particles, moreover, act as catalysts at high temperatures and form more asphalt and sludge in the presence of oxygen, which increases the oil viscosity.
How is base oil recycled?
Used oil recycling happens with various methods such as acidic method (sulfuric acid), non-acidic method (alkaline – bentonite or dye), centrifugation, and hydrogenation.
First, recyclers purchase burnt oils are from places such as mechanics and the oil changers. Then, they store them in the factory and begin the refining stages. There are often some contaminations, e.g. water, diesel, heavy metal shavings in the purchased oil, which are separated at first. Steel producers use these metals as scrap feed.
In simple terms, gear oil recycling includes several steps as below.
- Separating water and solid particles by sedimentation
- Sulfuric acid reaction to remove grease, gum
- Alkaline reaction to neutralize the acid
- Rinse with water to remove soap
- Simple distillation to remove moisture and volatile oil
- decolorizing and absorbing impurities by using clay
- Filtering to remove the clay and other solid particles
- Hydrogenation to improve color
- Blending to specific features
According to Section 279, various terms related to the process and management of oils and hazardous burnt oils are determined.
The waste of used oil refineries is also recyclable; for example, it is consumable in the industries of bitumen, wax, and mineral pumice.
Why recycled base oil is more popular?
Discharge of used oil is a risky job. It can leave drastic environmental footprints, in case of wrong unloading.
But Each gallon of waste oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of groundwater and its deposition in the soil prevents the growth of plants. Therefore, its disposal is legally prohibited in industrialized countries. Furthermore, burning waste oil is hazardous and dangerous. Waste oil is a heterogeneous mixture of low-flammable components such as gasoline and light solvents, which can explode exposing to the fire. Additionally, burning used oil pollutes the air because it contains metals that enter the air through the smoke.
Used oil with the metals is often the waste of oil changing in cars, trucks, locomotives, ships, and other industrial and agricultural machinery. The main part of the oil is mineral or synthetic hydrocarbons.
Not all the used oil is recyclable. The oil used as lubricants or in two-stroke engines loses its lubricating effects. It happens for two reasons:
- Pollution from internal and external sources
- formation of chemical additives
In this stage, the waste oil is not suitable for recycling anymore.
But Many companies in the globe recycle used oil and gear oil.
But only 10% of the 1.3 billion gallons of used engine oil are refined worldwide each year. Hence, Recycled base oil accounts for 5% of the lubricants market.
What are recycled oil applications?
Recycled gear oil is applicable for lubricating electric motors, large industrial chainsaws, old motors in mechanical and industrial machines, and simple devices due to its low price. It is practical in many industrial sites, factories, and some car repair shop.
In some countries, recycled gear oil is extremely popular as fuel supplements.
What is the best transportation for recycled oil?
A Flexi-bag, also known as Flexi tank, is a thick bag for conveying containers of non-corrosive and non-hazardous liquids. The maximum tolerable temperature in Flexi tank is +70 °C, and the minimum tolerable temperature is -50 °C.
Types of Flexi tanks
Based on the number of discharge and loading valves and their location, Flexi-bags contain three categories as bellow.
Single valve Flexi tank: loading and unloading valve located on the top
Single valve Flexi tank: loading and unloading valve located at the bottom
Two-valve Flexi tank: the loading valve is on the top, and the discharge valve is at the bottom
What are the advantages of transporting recycled oil by Flexi tanks?
Flexi tank has reduced the cost of non-hazardous materials transportation comparing to ISO Tanks and other methods of transportation such as barrels, IBCs, and tankers.
But Easy installation facilitates operation without highly specialized knowledge. The top and bottom valves provide a variety of loading and unloading capabilities. After unloading, the size of the Flexi tank shrinks to about one cubic meter by folding, which is equal to 2% of its loaded size. These are some of the advantages of Flexi tank:
1. Door-to-Door portability without changing the container
2. Facile transportation by a variety of vehicles and containers
3. One-way shipping, no need to return the container
4. Low cost of transportation by float tow truck compared to a tanker tow truck
5. Simple loading and unloading by just one person
6. Prevents contamination
7. Being at least one ton lighter than ISO Tanks
Recycled Used Oil Inspection
Buying recycled used oil, consider crucial criteria of color, density, and flashpoint.
Color: 1.5 – 2.5
Density: 0.870 – 0.890
Flash Point> 180 C
Here you can see a sample of the inspection report for recycled base oil by Infinity Galaxy.