Is it possible to recycle oil? Yes, and not just once!
When you think about it, it's obvious. Much of what we call “waste” is not used up at all and could well be used again and again. The reason we still throw away so much is partly that the technology to recycle it is complicated or has not matured enough. And partly because the mindset is missing.
The ability to see future possibilities in what has long been perceived as waste is not always an easy transition. But it is a necessary transition to move us towards a post-waste society.
So what about engine oil? After serving as an engine lubricant for thousands of kilometers, the previously golden-yellow fluid has become mixed with soot and dirt from the combustion process and, in the worst case, turned into a black sludge.
In other words, it's time for an oil change. But contrary to popular belief, that doesn't mean the oil has served its purpose. In fact, it still has a lot to give.
This was something that PURAGLOBE, the company that manufactures SYNTAINICS®, realized at an early stage. As the first company in the industry, PURAGLOBE succeeded in the process of producing high-quality base oil from used oil.
In practice, it is a form of recycling. However, given the advanced technology used, re-engineering is a more appropriate description.
Used oil is collected and treated with a patented technology that breaks down the oil at the molecular level, removing everything that doesn't belong and then reassembling it into a new, premium base oil. It can then be used to make a variety of sustainable fully synthetic motor oils and other lubricants.
And here's the best part: the process can be done not just once, but several times.
The whole thing is almost reminiscent of alchemy. But the process of re-engineering the “black gold” doesn't involve any hocus-pocus - just a hefty dose of advanced technology.
At two plants in Germany, the used oil is processed using different methods for various needs. One uses the so-called “Honeywell UOP HyLube™ technology” for the sustainable production of Group II/II+ base oils. These are more common in the US, partly because of the few cars with diesel engines there.
In Europe, however, Group III base oils are more common, which are produced in the second plant using the further developed “HyLubeSAT™ technology”.
This is the technology that will also be used at the third facility in Tampa, Florida, which is being built in conjunction with a logistics center for the North American market.
Together, the various facilities paint a picture of a company that has great faith in the potential of technology to develop and produce a future-proof product.
Apart from the most obvious benefit - namely, reusing oil and thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 180,000 tonnes annually - the technology also offers other possibilities.
Committed to zero-waste processing, PURAGLOBE make sure that all used oil they collect – literally every usable molecule of it – is re-engineered into new base oil.
And that, indeed, is a turning point for an industry that until now has relied on drilling into the ground.