Rerefined Motor Oils - Why Don't We See More of It?

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1,130
Location
California
It seems to me that starting with used motor oil should certainly be no more difficult mfg. wise than is starting with crude oil pumped from the ground. Considering the potential environmental advantages, why don't we see more high quality rerefined motor oil being marketed? The value of a "Green" marketing campaign would seem to be potentially significant. For 99% of the public, motor oil is a commodity like cows milk. Why doesn't one of the major oil companies make a big splash about how it is demonstrating it's commitment to the environment with a line of high quality rerefined motor oils? "Castrol Green 10W-30" ? "Pennzoil Planet Friendly 15w-40" ? John
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
As to the public, my guess would be the "ick factor." Consider the potential demand for predigested milk, or perhaps even better, recycled pre-used condoms. Ick! Why choose the once run oil, when the new stuff is right there and already cheap. As to the oil companies, they're already swimming in huge quantities of cheap virgin lube base oil. A few years ago, I read an analysis of new vs. used, and the used was just more expensive to make into a sellable product. So they've got no incentive to go down this road either. Conclusion: don't hold your breath. . .
 
Messages
22,709
Location
Apple Valley, California
Around 1995 I was a counter clown for a large chain auto parts store. We had some Union 76 re-refined oil. Couldn't even give it away. We marked it down to $.25 a qt and it still took a couple of months to get rid of all of it. It had the same API ratings as the new stuff too. I did buy a couple of cases at $.25 a qt for my Scout and did not have any problems, the engine is still running today.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
For that stuff to ever sell it needs to be used by municiple governments or something like that. There will probably be public subsidies to bolster its use. It will probably follow the same lame way they introduced recycling of trash. Instead of just requiring that all packaging had an increased amount of recycled material in it (sorta like CAFE) ..they PAID to have recycling programs created to "create" a supply for the market. Well, I know of a great supply of manure ...no major market has come of it yet [Big Grin] If they had just had a two year 5 or 10% requirement ..with an ulitmate 100% recyclable packaging ...trash haulers would be competing for the right to collect the stuff ..instead of charging to haul it away. New technoligies would be developed ..and new "perpetually recyclable" materials would be created. The society advances ..technology advances ..ecology advances ...natural market forces remain in place..it's a win win win situation. Instead ..we'll get to pay via a tax.
 
Messages
10
Location
California
quote:
Originally posted by Chris142: Around 1995 I was a counter clown for a large chain auto parts store. We had some Union 76 re-refined oil. Couldn't even give it away. We marked it down to $.25 a qt and it still took a couple of months to get rid of all of it. It had the same API ratings as the new stuff too. I did buy a couple of cases at $.25 a qt for my Scout and did not have any problems, the engine is still running today.
First post for me here. Just FYI I believe the highway patrol in CA uses that same oil at 5000K OCI and have been for a while now. Just thought I would share. PS, good forum. My girlfriend looks at me like I am crazy when I tell her I am reading up on oil filters.
 
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13,132
Location
By Detroit
Ignoring the hazardous waste aspect, why don't we pump the used oil back into the dry oil wells and leave it. Surely it will be worth while to suck it back out a couple hundred years from now (unless power technology radically changes by then).
 
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1,565
Location
palm beach
if re refined oil was marked at an appropriatly lower cost than new oil, i wouldnt mind running it. the problem is that re refined oil is usually the same price or higher price than comparible new oil. if it was around $0.50 cents a quart and met api sl or sm that would be good enough for me.
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Originally posted by Hankrr:
quote:
Originally posted by SlimTacoma: PS, good forum. My girlfriend looks at me like I am crazy when I tell her I am reading up on oil filters.
I know what you mean........ I got this page bookmarked at work where we all share the computer and they think I've got some kind of an oil fetish or something.

OK, let's all be honest with one another. If you're here, you do. . . [Wink]
 
Messages
164
Location
USA
quote:
Originally posted by SlimTacoma: PS, good forum. My girlfriend looks at me like I am crazy when I tell her I am reading up on oil filters.
I know what you mean........ I got this page bookmarked at work where we all share the computer and they think I've got some kind of an oil fetish or something.
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
I think you make a good point jthorner. "Green" packaging seems to have its fist and spits. I think it's all timing and placement. Put the stuff in Wal*Mart every few years and depending on the economic and political climate, you might just have a hit on your hands. A lot of products are like that. You look at something that was a hit ... and you'll find that it was introduced years ago but it didn't catch on the first time. I can't really comment on the idea that the oil industry is awash in virgin feed stocks. Juts don't know it well enough. Gary Allen, you make some good points but if the using the old stuff isn't the most economical way of producing new lubricating oils, it will cost more to use whether we have to pay some form of tax or merely higher prices for the products. I'm happy just knowing that a lot of the stuff is burned as fuel in power plants, etc ... [I dont know] --- Bror Jace
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by Lubricious: I'd like to know what the performance issues are with these recycled oils---i.e. are they more prone to shear?
The military has been trying to get a supply of recycled oil to meet MIL-PRF-2104. You might find some info if you search on that. I don't know how succesful they have been, maybe you could find out if you Google it. 2104 is a spec that invokes the specs for HDEO 15W-40 and some more. If it meets that it will have good shear resistance.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
but if the using the old stuff isn't the most economical way of producing new lubricating oils, it will cost more to use whether we have to pay some form of tax or merely higher prices for the products.
What I would prefer is mandated conservation that allows otherwise normal market forces in place. That is, require that xx amount of the oil sold be from recycled stocks. Oil companies may in fact sell the recylced stuff at a discount to allow them to sell the virgin stocks. Naturally the virgin stocks will bear the added costs of discounting the recycled oil ..but it would be a positive (as in mandated) conservation measure that we could live with. Waste oil demand would go up and newer and cheaper methodologies would be created for their collection and re-refinement. The alternative is something like a buck a quart tax that disappears into the governments pork barrel ...having recycled oils exempt from the tax. I'd prefer the option at assures conservation ..yet stimulates progress. ...or we could just wait until the stuff is REALLY in decreasing supply and just let the market deal with it that way.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
If rerefined oil is hydrotreated, it can be OK. If it's just very finely filtered and re-additized, it is still partly oxidized and will have a very short useful life. The main savings in rerefined processing is a lower energy requirement to refine compared to crude oil. Keep in mind where used motor oil usually goes...it is mixed with industrial and marine heavy boiler fuel (Number 6 fuel oil or Bunker C) and burned. If they don't have used motor oil, they burn more heavy fuel oil from virgin crude...where's the benefit from rerefining except that minor processing energy savings??? Ken
 
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