How to recycle lubricating oil to produce base oil?
Lubricating oils are an integral part of any automobile these days. They keep the mechanical components in motion, limiting friction and regulating temperatures.
However, motor oils need to be replaced after a certain period; if left unchecked, they can spell disaster for the vehicle and the owner.
There are approximately 1.5 billion automotive vehicles worldwide. Imagine the amount of lubricating oil consumed by these vehicles and eventually the oil waste generated when they need to be replaced. This generates tons of lubricant oil waste, leading to a need for this waste oil to be handled and recycled.
One such facility by the name of Tayras, based in Istanbul, Turkey, does precisely that. The oil refinery takes in waste lubricants and converts them into transparent base oil while massively cutting down on the carbon footprint of recycling waste materials.
A strong adherence to scientific methodology and strategic planning allows Tayras to achieve impressive oil recycling output.
The lubricant oil is first brought from waste oil collection centers to the factory. Samples are collected from these used oil tankers and analyzed at the lab to check for the quality of the oil and the possible yield that could be obtained after recycling. Once the used oils pass from the labs, they are then taken to large-scale feeding tanks where caustic is added to the oils before they are further processed for distillation.
Tayras uses a vacuum and heating process like other oil refineries to achieve high-quality oil during the distillation process; at Tayras oil refining facility, the distillation tank temperature reaches between 482 - 572°F (250-300 °C) while attaining a vacuum pressure of 0.014 - 2.9 pounds per square inch (1-200 millibars) to decompose the hydrocarbons.
The resultant yields of light and heavy oils are then separated and stored in their respective storage tanks. They are further purified using the hydrotreatment technique, which allows the oils to get rid of residual sulfur, chlorine, and nitrogenous compounds that limit oil efficiency and increase impurity. The final result? Oils that are group 2+.
Considering the alternatives for waste management of oil, that is, either spilling into the earth's soil or burning the used oil results in unaccountable climate contamination with the heavy metals intoxicating the earth's soil and even worse when the oils are incinerated, the heavy metals and chlorine compounds get released into the atmosphere. Recycling lubricant oil is a necessary step toward reducing our carbon footprint. This requires a collective effort, with initiatives like turning your used automotive oil into oil waste management units rather than dumping them or burning them.