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RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

PROJECT REPORT ON

THE RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICANT OIL

Submitted to the Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun


in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements
for the Award of the Degree of

BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING (CHEMICAL)

 Rakesh Joshi
 Rahul Pant
 Vishal Chauhan
 Shivam Kardwal
 Gautam Rana
 Rahul Singh Kotiyal

Department of Chemical Engineering


Bipin Tripathi Kumaon Institute of Technology,
Dwarahat, Almora, Uttarakhand – 263 653
December 2017-18
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

ABSTRACT

Used oil – as its name implies – is any petroleum -based or synthetic oil that has
been used. During normal use, impurities such as dirt, metal scrapings, water or
chemicals can get mixed in with the oil or be generated in it due to thermal
degradation or oxidation. Therefore, the oil quality gradually decreases to a level
that the used oil should be replaced by a new one. Disposing the used oil off in
nature creates an intense dangerous pollution. But by proper recovery and
refinement of it, a lot of valuable product can be obtained. This article studies one
of the best methods of used oil re-refining and compares its product specifications
with those of a virgin base oil.

The re-refiner's job is to remove all the contaminants and restore the oil to its
original condition. The important point to note is that the technology used by
Dominion Oil is virtually identical to that used to refine crude petroleum, the
difference being that the level of contamination in used oil is much lower that that
in crude oil. Used oil is uplifted from centralized collection points at places such as
service stations, workshops, recycling depots and factory sites. The oil is burned at
temperatures of approximately 1400oC, ensuring complete combustion. At this
temperature dioxins are not formed as they may be at lower temperatures. This
method has been endorsed by the Department of the Environment as the preferred
alternative to re-refining.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
It is matter of great pleasure for me to submit this project report on

“THE RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICANT OIL”,


as a part of curriculum for award of “Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical”.

We are thankful to our seminar guide Mr Vaibhav Rai sir, Assistant


Professor in Chemical Engineering Department for his constant encouragement
and able guidance.

We are also thankful to Mr. Anshuman Mishra sir, Head of Chemical


Engineering Department for his valuable support.

We took this opportunity to express our deep sense of gratitude towards


those, who have helped us in various ways, for preparing our mini project. At the
last but not least, we are thankful to our parents, who had encouraged & inspired us
with their blessings.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

Department of Chemical Engineering


Bipin Tripathi Kumaon Institute of Technology
(An Autonomous Institute Affiliated to Uttarakhand Technical
University, Dehradun)
Dwarahat, Almora, Uttarakhand – 263 653
December 2017-18

CERTIFICATE

It is certified that the project work entitled

“THE RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL”

Submitted by

 Rakesh Joshi
 Rahul Pant
 Vishal Chauhan
 Shivam Kardwal
 Gautam Rana
 Rahul Singh Kotiyal
is the original work carried out by them under the supervision of Prof. A. K. Vaddi
and is approved for the partial fulfilment of the requirement of University of Pune,
Pune for the award of the Degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical)

This Project Work has not been earlier submitted to any other Institute or
University for the
award of any degree or diploma.

(Mr. Vaibhav Rai) (Mr. Anshuman Mishra)


Asst. Professor Guide H.O.D.
Chem engg dept. Chem engg dept.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

CERTIFICATE

Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
 Importance
 Oil chemistry
Chapter 2 LUBE OIL
 Properties
 Theory
Chapter 3 USED LUBE OIL
 Used oil composition
Chapter 4 NEED FOR RE-REFINING
 Importance and Benefits
Chapter 5 PROCESSES INVOLED IN RE-REFINING PROCESS
 Dehydration
 Vacuum distillation
 Lube oil Distillation and Condensation
Chapter 6 PROCESS DESCRIPTION
 Dehydration
 Vacuum distillation
 Lube oil Distillation and Condensation
Chapter 7 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Chapter 8 MATERIAL BALANCE AND PROPERTY COMPARISON
Chapter 9 CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

INTRODUCTION

Lubricating oil is an important resource. One of the more valuable lubricating oils
is the motor oil used in passenger cars, vans, and trucks. Every year, privately
owned automobiles and light trucks in the U.S. generate over 300 million gallons
of used crankcase oil.

Mismanagement of used motor oil is a serious environmental problem. All


automotive oils have the potential to be recycled safely and productively, saving
energy and avoiding environmental pollution. Unfortunately, most used motor oil
is handled improperly. Some is emptied into sewers, adversely affecting water
treatment plants or going directly into waterways. Some is dumped directly onto
the ground to kill weeds or is poured onto dirt roads. Millions of gallons are
thrown into the trash, ending up in landfills, where it can contaminate surface and
ground water.

In addition to the environmental problems, improper used oil disposal is simply a


waste of a valuable resource. Every gallon of used motor oil not recovered results
in the need to drill for more oil and in some cases it results in increases in oil
import. Today, however, most of the crude petroleum produced throughout the
world contains very little of the special hydrocarbon chains necessary for motor
oil. As a result, refining crude petroleum to produce virgin lube oil is an elaborate,
complex, and expensive process that requires nearly three times as much energy as
re-refining used oil.

Lube base oil is one of the most valuable components in a barrel of crude oil.
While many components of crude oil such as gasoline, jet and diesel fuels are
„lost‟ after combustion, lube base oil can be recovered and „regenerated‟ to the
quality equal to or better than its original virgin form.

The re-refiner's job is to remove all the aforementioned contaminants and restore
the oil to its original condition. The important point to note is that the technology
used by Dominion Oil is virtually identical to that used to refine crude petroleum,
the difference being that the level of contamination in used oil is much lower that
that in crude oil.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL
OIL CHEMISTRY

Petroleum products are essentially composed of hydrocarbons, i.e. compounds


containing exclusively carbon and hydrogen. The simplest hydrocarbon molecule
is methane, CH4. This basic molecule is the main constituent of natural gas. It can
be extended with the addition of more carbon and hydrogen atoms, usually forming
into longer chains. Four carbon atoms in a chain forms butane, one of the main
constituents of LPG. The atoms may also form side chains off the main chain, or
form into ring structures such as the benzene ring. Lubricating oils are just
extensions of these basic hydrocarbon structures, containing from 20 to 70 carbon
atoms per molecule, often in an extremely complex arrangement of straight chains,
side chains and five and six membered ring structures

The lubricating oil molecules can be divided into three broad groupings:

Paraffinic: Predominantly straight chains, tend to be waxy, have a high pour point
and good viscosity/temperature stability.

Naphthenic: Straight chains with a high proportion of five and to a lesser extent
six
membered ring structures. Tend to have a low pour point. For this reason they are
used as refrigeration oils. They are highly carcinogenic and are little used in engine
oil. Dominion Oil treats used refrigerator oils separately from the main plant. As
refrigerator oils do not come in contact with products of combustion they are much
cleaner than engine oils.

Aromatic: Straight chains with six membered ring benzene structures. In practise,
no sharp distinction exists between these various groupings as many lubricating oil
molecules are a combination, to varying degrees, of the different types of
hydrocarbons. The main point to bear in mind is that these molecules are extremely
stable. Lubricating oil molecules never wear out - all that happens is that the
additives in the oil wear out or deplete and need replacing.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

LUBE OIL

Motor oil or engine oil is an oil used for lubrication of various internal
combustion engines. The main function is to lubricate moving parts; it also cleans,
inhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying heat away
from moving parts.
Motor oils are derived from petroleum-based and non-petroleum-synthesized
chemical compounds. Motor oils today are mainly blended by using base oils
composed of hydrocarbons, polyalphaolefins (PAO), and polyinternal olefins]
(PIO), thus organic compounds consisting entirely of carbon and hydrogen. The
base oils of some high-performance motor oils however contain up to 20% by
weight of esters
Motor oil is a lubricant used in internal combustion engines. These include motor
or road vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, heavier vehicles such as buses and
commercial vehicles, non-road vehicles such as go-karts, snowmobiles, boats
(fixed engine installations and outboards), lawn mowers, large agricultural and
construction equipment, locomotives and aircraft and static engines such as
electrical generators. In engines, there are parts which move against each other
causing friction which wastes otherwise useful power by converting the energy to
heat. Contact between moving surfaces also wears away those parts, which could
lead to lower efficiency and degradation of the engine. This increases fuel
consumption, decreases power output and can lead to engine failure.
Lubricating oil creates a separating film between surfaces of adjacent moving parts
to minimize direct contact between them, decreasing heat caused by friction and
reducing wear, thus protecting the engine. In use, motor oil transfers heat through
convection as it flows through the engine by means of air flow over the surface of
the oil pan, an oil cooler and through the build up of oil gases evacuated by the
Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system.
In petrol (gasoline) engines, the top piston ring can expose the motor oil to
temperatures of 160 °C (320 °F). In diesel engines the top ring can expose the oil
to temperatures over 315 °C (600 °F). Motor oils with higher viscosity indices thin
less at these higher temperatures.
Coating metal parts with oil also keeps them from being exposed to oxygen,
inhibiting oxidation elevated operating temperatures preventing rust or corrosion.
Corrosion inhibitors may also be added to the motor oil. Many motor oils also have
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

detergents and dispersants added to help keep the engine clean and minimize oil
sludge build-up. The oil is able to trap soot from combustion in itself, rather than
leaving it deposited on the internal surfaces. It is a combination of this, and some
singeing that turns used oil black after some running.
Rubbing of metal engine parts inevitably produces some microscopic metallic
particles from the wearing of the surfaces. Such particles could circulate in the oil
and grind against moving parts, causing wear. Because particles accumulate in the
oil, it is typically circulated through an oil filter to remove harmful particles. An oil
pump, a vane or gear pump powered by the engine, pumps the oil throughout the
engine, including the oil filter. Oil filters can be a full flow or bypass type.

Most motor oils are made from a heavier, thicker petroleum hydrocarbon base
stock derived from crude oil, with additives to improve certain properties. The bulk
of a typical motor oil consists of hydrocarbons with between 18 and 34 carbon
atoms per molecule. One of the most important properties of motor oil in
maintaining a lubricating film between moving parts is its viscosity. The viscosity
of a liquid can be thought of as its "thickness" or a measure of its resistance to
flow. The viscosity must be high enough to maintain a lubricating film, but low
enough that the oil can flow around the engine parts under all conditions. The
viscosity index is a measure of how much the oil's viscosity changes as
temperature changes. A higher viscosity index indicates the viscosity changes less
with temperature than a lower viscosity index.

Motor oil must be able to flow adequately at the lowest temperature it is expected
to experience in order to minimize metal to metal contact between moving parts
upon starting up the engine. The pour point defined first this property of motor oil,
as defined by ASTM D97 as "... an index of the lowest temperature of its utility ..."
for a given application, but the "cold cranking simulator" and "Mini-Rotary
Viscometer" are today the properties required in motor oil specs and define the
SAE classifications.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

USED LUBE OIL

Used lube oil is defined as the petroleum derived or synthetic oil which remains
after applications in lubrications, cutting purposes, etc After a certain period of
useful life, the lubricating oil loses its properties and cannot be used as such in
machinery. Build up of temperature degrade the lubricating oil, thus leading to
reduction in properties such as : Viscosity, Specific gravity, etc Dirt and metal
parts worn out from the surfaces are also deposited into the lubricating oils. With
increased time of uses, the lubricating loses its lubricating properties as a result of
over reduction of desired properties and thus must be replaced with fresh one.

USED OIL COMPOSITION

A lubricating oil becomes unfit for further use for two main reasons: accumulation
of contaminants in the oil and chemical changes in the oil. The main contaminants
are listed below.

Combustion products

Water: Fuel burns to CO2 and H2O. For every litre of fuel burnt, a litre of water is
created. This normally passes out through the exhaust when the engine is hot, but
when cold it can run down and collect in the oil. This leads to sludge formation and
rust.

Soot and carbon :These make the oil go black. They form as the result of
incomplete combustion, especially during warm-up with a rich mixture.

Lead :Tetraethyl lead, which used to be used as an anti-knock agent in petrol,


passes into the oil. A typical used engine oil may have contained up to 2% lead,
but today any lead comes from bearing wear and is likely to be in the 2 - 12 ppm
range.

Fuel: Unburnt gasoline or diesel can pass into the lubricant, again especially
during start-up.
Abrasives

Road dust: This passes into the engine through the air-cleaner. Composed of small
particles of silicates. Wear metals. Iron, copper and aluminium released due to
normal engine wear.

Chemical products
Oxidation products: Some of the oil molecules, at elevated temperatures, will
oxidise to form complex and corrosive organic acids.

Depleted additive remnants :The Hydrocarbon composition of new or used


automotive lubricating oil sludge consists primarily of saturated compounds such
as Linear and Branched chain, Paraffin's which have at least twice as many
Naphthenic. Aromatics generally comprise about 10 to 15 weight % of the
hydrocarbon base material. Composition of used oil consists of four major groups,
which have average values of 76.7% saturates, 13.2% monoaromatics, 3.7%
diaromatics and 6.5% polyaromatic-polar material.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

NEED FOR REREFINING


1) The need to conserve crude reserves.
2) Minimizing unemployment through the building of used lube oil recycling plant.
3) The elimination environment pollution source of used lubricant.

IMPORTANTS AND BENEFITS OF RE-REFINING

1) Reduce dependence on base oil imports saving foreign exchange.


2) Prevent ground water contamination and pollution.
3) Preserve natural resources such as coal and crude oil.
4) Reduce sewage treatment costs.
5) Eliminate improper burning of waste oil as fuel, which generate toxic fumes and
air pollution.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

PROCESSES INVOLVED IN RE-REFINING PROCESS

The re-refiner's job is to remove all the aforementioned contaminants and restore
the oil to its original condition. The important point to note is that the technology
used by Dominion Oil is virtually identical to that used to refine crude petroleum,
the difference being that the level of contamination in used oil is much lower that
that in crude oil. Used oil is uplifted from centralised collection points at places
such as service stations, workshops, recycling depots and factory sites. The
collector is contracted to the Used Oil Monitoring Group, whose members include
BP, Dominion Oil Refining, Caltex, Castrol, Shell, Milburn Cement and the
Department of the Environment. Milburn Cement administer the Group, whilst the
Department of the Environment represent the Government. Milburn Cement also
combust any used oil that cannot be recycled, using it as an alternative to coal. The
oil is burned at temperatures of approximately 1400oC, ensuring complete
combustion. At this temperature dioxins are not formed as they may be at lower
temperatures. This method has been endorsed by the Department of the
Environment as the preferred alternative to re-refining.

Step 1 – Dehydration

The oil is stored to allow water and solids to separate out from the oil, then the oil
is heated to 120oC in a closed vessel to boil off any emulsified water and some of
the fuel diluents.

Step 2 - Diesel stripping

The dehydrated oil is then fed continuously into a vacuum distillation plant for
fractionation in exactly the same fashion as crude petroleum. The fractions
obtained are as follows:
1. Light fuel and diesel: Dominion Oil produces enough diesel from the used oil
feedstock to run all the burners and boilers, giving total self-sufficiency in fuel.

2. Lubricating oil: The bulk of the feedstock will distill off in the plant to produce
a lubricating oil fraction.

3. Residue: The non-distillable part of the feedstock. This contains all the carbon,
wear metals, degraded additives and most of the lead and oxidation products. This
residue is successfully used as bitumen extender for roading.
Step 3 - Lube oil distillation and condensation

The lubricating oil fractions are then passed through an extraction tower in the
presence of Nmethylpyrolidone (NMP). The NMP is an aromatic selective solvent
which, in addition to removing some colour and odour, is able to extract all
unwanted aromatic contaminants present in the paraffinic lubricating oil fraction,
subsequent to fractional distillation. This is important as polycyclic aromatics are
very carcinogenic. This process is commonly used in virgin oil refineries, but
Dominion Oil Refining is the only manufacturer of re-refined oil to use it.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

PROCESS DISCRIPTION

STEP-1: DEHYDRATION

The oil is stored to allow water and solids to separate out from the oil, then the oil
is heated to 120oC in a closed vessel to boil off any emulsified water and some of
the fuel diluents.

The point at which an oil contains the maximum amount of dissolved water is
termed the saturation point. The saturation point is dependent on the oil‟s
temperature, age and additive composition. The higher the temperature, the higher
the saturation point and hence more water held in solution, in the dissolved phase.
This is the same as being able to dissolve more sugar in hot water, than in cold
water. Similarly, the older the oil, the higher the level of water that can be
dissolved. This is due to polar by-products of oxidation in the oil, which act as
“hooks” holding on to the water molecules and keeping them in solution. Likewise,
highly additized oils, like crankcase oils, have a higher saturation point than lightly
additized oils like turbine oils, because the additives - many of which are polar -
also hold the water in solution.

Water can also affect the additive package through water washing and hydrolysis,
leading to acids and additive depletion. Water encourages rust and corrosion and
will cause increased wear as a result of aeration, changes in viscosity resulting in
film strength failure, hydrogen blistering and embrittlement, and vaporous
cavitation. Finally, water is a generator of other contaminants in the oil such as
waxes, suspensions, carbon and oxide insolubles and even micro-organisms.
REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

STEP-2 : VACUUM DISTILLATION

Petroliumm oil is a complex mixture of hundreds of different


hydrocarbon compounds generally having from 3 to 60 carbon atoms per
molecule, although there may be small amounts of hydrocarbons outside
that range. The refining of crude oil begins with distilling the incoming
Petroleum crude oil in a so-called atmospheric distillation column.
operating at pressures slightly above atmospheric pressureRE

-In distilling the oil, it is important not to subject the crude oil to temperatures
above 370 to 380 °C because the high molecular weight components in the crude
oil will undergo thermal cracking and form petroleum coke at temperatures above
that. Formation of coke would result in plugging the tubes in the furnace that heats
the feed stream to the crude oil distillation column. Plugging would also occur in
the piping from the furnace to the distillation column as well as in the column
itself.

The constraint imposed by limiting the column inlet crude oil to a temperature of
less than 370 to 380 °C yields a residual oil from the bottom of the atmospheric
distillation column consisting entirely of hydrocarbons that boil above 370 to
380°C.

To further distill the residual oil from the atmospheric distillation column, the
distillation must be performed at absolute pressures as low as 10 to 40 mmHg (also
referred to as Torr) so as to limit the operating temperature to less than 370 to
380°C.

Figure 2 is a simplified process diagram of a petroleum refinery vacuum


distillation column that depicts the internals of the column and Figure 3 is a
photograph of a large vacuum distillation column in a petroleum refinery.

The 10 to 40 mmHg absolute pressure in a vacuum distillation column increases


the volume of vapor formed per volume of liquid distilled. The result is that such
columns have very large diameters.

REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL


REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

Distillation columns such those in Images 1 and 2, may have diameters of 15


meters or more, heights ranging up to about 50 meters, and feed rates ranging up to
about 25,400 cubic meters per day (160,000 barrels per day).

The vacuum distillation column internals must provide good vapor-liquid


contacting while, at the same time, maintaining a very low pressure increase from
the top of the column top to the bottom. Therefore, the vacuum column uses
distillation trays only where withdrawing products from the side of the column
(referred to as side draws). Most of the column uses packing material for the
vapor-liquid contacting because such packing has a lower pressure drop than
distillation trays. This packing material can be either structured sheet metal or
randomly dumped packing such as Raschig rings.

The absolute pressure of 10 to 40 mmHg in the vacuum column is most often


achieved by using multiple stages of steam jet ejectors.

Many industries, other than the petroleum refining industry, use vacuum
distillation on a much a smaller scale.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

Laboratory-scale vacuum distillation

Laboratory-scale vacuum distillation, sometimes referred to as low temperature


distillation, is used when the liquids to be distilled have highatmospheric boiling
points or undergo a chemical change at temperatures near their atmospheric boiling
points.

Temperature sensitive materials (such as beta carotene) also require vacuum


distillation to remove solvents from the mixture without damaging the product.

There many laboratory applications for vacuum distillation as well as many types
of distillation setups and apparatuses. Image 3 is a photograph of a vacuum
distillation setup in a laboratory.
Safety is an important consideration when using glassware as part of the setups.
All of the glass components should be carefully examined for scratches and cracks
which could result in implosions when the vacuum is applied. Wrapping as much
of the glassware with tape as is practical helps to prevent dangerous scattering of
glass shards in the event of an implosion.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

The dehydrated oil is then fed continuously into a vacuum distillation plant for
fractionation in exactly the same fashion as crude petroleum. The fractions
obtained are as follows:

1. Light fuel and diesel: Dominion Oil produces enough diesel from the used oil
feedstock to run all the burners and boilers, giving total self-sufficiency in fuel.

2. Lubricating oil: The bulk of the feedstock will distill off in the plant to produce
a lubricating oil fraction.

3. Residue: The non-distillable part of the feedstock. This contains all the carbon,
wear metals, degraded additives and most of the lead and oxidation products. This
residue is successfully used as bitumen extender for roading.

STEP-3: LUBE OIL DISTILLATION AND CONDENSATION

The lubricating oil fractions are then passed through an extraction tower in the
presence of Nmethylpyrolidone (NMP). The NMP is an aromatic selective solvent
which, in addition to removing some colour and odour, is able to extract all
unwanted aromatic contaminants present in the paraffinic lubricating oil fraction,
subsequent to fractional distillation. This is important as polycyclic aromatics are
very carcinogenic. This process is commonly used in virgin oil refineries, but
Dominion Oil Refining is the only manufacturer of re-refined oil to
use it.

Liquid–liquid extraction also known as solvent extraction and partitioning, is a


method to separate compounds based on their relative solubilities in two different
immiscible liquids usually water and an organic solvent. It is an extraction of a
substance from one liquid into another liquid phase. Liquid–liquid extraction is a
basic technique in chemical laboratories, where it is performed using a separatory
funnel. This type of process is commonly performed after a chemical reaction as
part of the work-up.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

Environmental Issues

Oil in any form is potentially harmful to the environment. Post-studies of oil spills
indicate that it takes up to twenty years for an aquatic environment to return to a
healthy condition. Once oil has been used by industry or the DIY, it has even more
potential for environmental damage. In aquatic communities oil residue tends to
settle on the bottom, coating the substrate and whatever organisms live there.
When poured on the ground, oil can rapidly migrate through the soil. In both
instances, bacteria, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates experience physiological
stress. Oil film on water can reduce the penetration of light into the water and,
consequently, reduce the rate of photosynthesis. When photosynthesis is reduced,
oxygen production is also reduced. The oil film may also inhibit the movement of
oxygen from the air through the surface of the water. The reduction of dissolved
oxygen in the water stresses animals living in the water. Oil can clog respiratory
(breathing) mechanisms and even be incorporated into the tissues of these
organisms. These substances in the tissues of the organisms make them unfit for
human consumption and, therefore, contribute to economic loss. If the
contaminants are not incorporated into a human food source, they may be passed
along the food chain, thereby contributing to environmental degradation. Some of
the substances found in both virgin crude and refined oil can affect the nervous
systems of living things. This reduces their ability to find food or reproduce.
Some of the oil components (on the light end) evaporate into the air and/or
dissolve into the water. Many of these light end compounds are known carcinogens
and/or mutagens. Microscopically, oil compounds impinge on algae, bacteria, and
plankton, the basis of the aquatic food chain. Larger organisms such as mammals
and birds are the most dramatic victims of oil pollution because of their visibility
and emotional appeal to humans. Feathers and fur become coated with oil and lose
their ability to control body temperature. Death results from exposure or ingestion
of the oil compounds via grooming. In ground, oil can rapidly percolate through
the soil particles and create similar problems for soil microbes and macroscopic
invertebrates. Eventually this oil may make its way into thewater table or into a
water body such as a lake. Used oil is a valuable resource. One definition for
pollution is a resource out of place, and used oil certainly fits that description. The
potential impact on our environment depends on how we manage this resource to
make sure it is not out of place. To summarize, pollution can be defined as a
resource in the wrong place or one that has not been completely used. Improper
disposal of used oil is a source of significant pollution. The potential impact on our
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

water and environment is serious. Of all petroleum related pollution in the U.S.
including oil spills in coastal waterways, 62% is estimated to be runoff of used
lubricating oil, much of which eventually works its way to the ocean environment.

Economic Impact of Disposal Methods

The energy saved by collecting and recycling used motor oil can help reduce our
dependence on foreign oil imports. Although current crude oil prices have dropped
in recent years, valuable energy reserves can be conserved by the use of fuel oil
made from reclaimed motor oil. One gallon of used oil can be re-refined into 2-1/2
quarts of quality lubricating oil. In contrast, 42 gallons of crude oil must be refined
to produce the same 2-1/2 quart volume (though many other products are derived
from the 42 gallons of crude). In fact, recycling used oil could reduce petroleum
imports by 25.5 million barrels of oil per year, saving 1.3 million barrels of oil per
day or half the annual production of the Alaskan pipeline.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

SCHEMATIC OF RE-REFINING PROCESS


RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL
CALCULATIONS

COMPARISON OF PROPERTIES

Properties Pure oil Used oil

Color & appearance Clear& homogeneous Clear &homogeneous

Specific gravity 0.882 0.910

Dynamic viscosity 312 324

Water, volume% 0 12

Flash point 234 264

Material balance

FEEDSTOCK ML

Waste lube oil 200

PRODUCTS

Off gases(Water, light ends and losses) 16


Base oil 140
Gas oil 12
Residue 32

TOTAL 200
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

CONCLUSION
1) Used oil is pollutant and by re-refining, the pollution is reduced. Hence it should
get a status of eco-friendly technology and get grants and incentives from the
ministry of enviourment.

2) The quality of thoroughly re-refined oil is comparable with nascent base oil.
Hence it should be evaluation awarded import-substitute status.

3) While making fresh lubricating oils blending with 5-10% of re-refined base oils
should be done for viscosity correction.

4) All such blended oils should be stamped with green lable to make the public
aware about the concept of re-refining.

5) The eco-conscious customer would buy the product with green labels.

6) Since re-refining leads to oil conservation the concept of re-refining should be


strongly supported by the petroleum conservation research association.
RE-REFINING OF USED LUBRICATING OIL

REFERENCES

1) "Used Oil. A Renewable Resource and an Environmental Pollutant" by David


Layzell,

2) L.M. Magnabosco and W.A. Rondeau, "Improved Process forthe Production of


Base Stock Oils from Used Oil.

3) Frankl, P., Fullana, P., Baitz, M., 2005, Europe Life Cycle Considerations on
Waste Oils and Implications.

4) “Recycling Used Motor Oil: A Model Program.” Third Edition,December,


1988.

5)Hunter, B. Scott. “Disposing of Used Motor Oil: A Slippery Issue.” Delaware


Valley Energy Report, Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 1991/92.