WASTE OIL – Recycling

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When you change the oil in your car, how is it disposed of? Millions of gallons of used motor oil are improperly dumped every year, polluting our environment. But used oil can be recycled. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience, oil filtration system

We’re listening to sounds of a filtration system at a used motor oil recycling plant.

“Oil has been recycled for years. There are two primary recycled products that can be made from used oils: one is a reprocessed fuel that can be used by industry for either energy or heat. The other use, a far better use is re-refining where the used oil is actually re-refined back into a base lubricating oil to be used over and over again in a number of applications; either for industry manufacturing or even back into motor oils.”

Julie Stoneman is former program director for the Michigan Used Motor Oil Recycling Program. She says that although the technology is in place, the recycling of used oil is facing some tough hurdles.

“The biggest challenge is providing collection systems that are convenient, that are permanent, that are available to do-it-yourselfers and are well-promoted. To create those kinds of collection systems, used oil or any recycled product has to have a value. And that is our biggest problem right now is market development for recycled oil products which would help to drive the collection of used oil. Several states have looked at surcharges on new motor oil to help pay for the collection of used oil; some are looking at deposit systems similar to bottle bills. In the far future, we’re going to see oils that will last longer, that won’t be changed so frequently or permanent oil filters so that you never ever have to change oil on an automobile. And I think the best approach ultimately is reducing the amount of used oil that we generate.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

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WASTE OIL - Recycling

When recycling used motor oil, there are many options and challenges.
Air Date:02/11/1993
Scientist:
Transcript:


music

When you change the oil in your car, how is it disposed of? Millions of gallons of used motor oil are improperly dumped every year, polluting our environment. But used oil can be recycled. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience, oil filtration system

We’re listening to sounds of a filtration system at a used motor oil recycling plant.

“Oil has been recycled for years. There are two primary recycled products that can be made from used oils: one is a reprocessed fuel that can be used by industry for either energy or heat. The other use, a far better use is re-refining where the used oil is actually re-refined back into a base lubricating oil to be used over and over again in a number of applications; either for industry manufacturing or even back into motor oils.”

Julie Stoneman is former program director for the Michigan Used Motor Oil Recycling Program. She says that although the technology is in place, the recycling of used oil is facing some tough hurdles.

“The biggest challenge is providing collection systems that are convenient, that are permanent, that are available to do-it-yourselfers and are well-promoted. To create those kinds of collection systems, used oil or any recycled product has to have a value. And that is our biggest problem right now is market development for recycled oil products which would help to drive the collection of used oil. Several states have looked at surcharges on new motor oil to help pay for the collection of used oil; some are looking at deposit systems similar to bottle bills. In the far future, we’re going to see oils that will last longer, that won’t be changed so frequently or permanent oil filters so that you never ever have to change oil on an automobile. And I think the best approach ultimately is reducing the amount of used oil that we generate.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music