Are used oils used in production of motor oils?

One of the environmentally hazardous material are used motor and transmission oils, which often end up in water or soil after changes of oil in vehicles and vessels. At best, fleets and ship bases collect used oil to special tanks and take them to oil processing facilities for disposal or regeneration. Used motor oils sent to such facilities, as a rule, do not comply with flashpoint specifications. Such materials are usually accepted as used oil products 4 times cheaper than heavy fuel oil. Low price of purchase does not cover the cost of collecting and transporting the used oil.

States that used oil products can be used as follows: motor oils can be used for regeneration, industrial oils can be regenerated and purified; oil product blends, such as oil rinsing liquids, oils for thermal treatment of metals, cylinder and transmission oils, naphtha and liquid petro fuels, extracted from water purification systems can be processed at oil refineries along with oil and as component of heavy fuel oil.

At this point do not run to check what is in your canister and what it smells like… keep on reading. In our country, used oils are regenerated. However, the process is limited mostly to removal of water and solid particles. Oil refineries mix used oils with their trap products and use the blend as an additive to heavy fuel, while oil processing and storage facilities mostly export used oils for next to nothing. Therefore, used oils can at best be used by the collection facilities as heavy fuel oil components.

Abroad, however, most of the used oil products (up to 90%) are used as fuel, with up to 120% profit. In the United States, for example, almost half of the truck service companies blends used oil and diesel fuel for use as motor fuel. Diesel fuel is about 10 times more expensive than used oil submitted for recycling. Therefore, using oil as a component of motor fuel instead of submitting it for recycling, the economic efficiency increases by about one order of magnitude.

Small oil recycling systems exist, which are based on the processes of thermal cracking and distillation and convert used oil into full scale heavy fuel, diesel fuel, as well as coke, bitumen etc.

The reasons of limited use of recycling are the high cost of regeneration, environmentally hazardous byproducts, and, most importantly, increasing quality demands to oil.

Therefore, at this time there are only a few applications of used oils: a heavy fuel oil additive, a diesel fuel additive and a production feedstock.


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