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Oil Re-refining: An Overview Of How Oil Recycling Works



Have you have heard of re-refined oil? It's been in the news a lot lately.

If you take your waste motor oil to disposal locations, re-refined oil is the result of the process called oil recycling.

In this article we will break down this process and give an overview of how oil recycling works. It will also mention some of the benefits of recycling used oil.

The starting point in the oil recycling or oil re-refining process is collecting used oil. The waste oil is transported from various drop-off sites to a recycling facility. Once it arrives, it is entered into the first step in re-refinement: vacuum distillation.

Any waste oil that arrives must first go through a computerized inspection. The inappropriate feedstock oil is rejected and disposed of. The oil that makes it through the inspection will be put through chemical pre-treatment.

Knowing exactly how oil recycling works gives you some insight into the efforts that are expended to make new oil products that conserve crude oil supplies.

Continuing with the re-refining process, when the oil finishes with pre-treatment, there may be moisture that needs to be removed. Waste oil then undergoes a dehydration protocol that involves the elimination of water as steam that is cooled and sent to separate sewage treatment facilities.

The main focus of vacuum distillation commences after dehydration. The materials that are left are removed:

  • Any gasoil recovered is used as a refinery fuel

  • The asphalt flux stripped from the bottom is used to create roofing material

  • Finally, lube oil distillates result


The where and how oil recycling works will vary from one location to another, but the whole process is fairly standard.

The second step of oil re-refining involves hydrofinishing.

The lube oil distillates are put through a lengthy treatment in hydrotreating reactors. Fractionalization that results generates different grades of base oil.

Finally, this material is sent to a blender system to make the finished lubricants.

You may be asking whether knowing how oil recycling works really matters. If you are not involved in the industry or you have only cursory understanding of the technical elements, then maybe it doesn’t.

For the average person, the results of oil recycling and re-refining are far more important. Used motor oil can be reconstituted into new oil, oil bases can be used as industrial lubricants.

If you are someone who is interested in how oil recycling works, it is possible to obtain more information about the process by browsing the web. Many government-sponsored programs and recycling companies have websites that outline their services.

Take some time and research; you will find plenty to sate your interest.



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