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Although there’s lots of talk about finding the alternative to oil, there’s a lot less about recycling it, despite the fact that it’s already being done. Now, FCC Environmental is taking charge on that front by building the first ever motor oil recycling plant to be located on the east coast of the United States.
Set to be completed in June 2013, this new plant will be located in Baltimore and will create 30 green jobs. The plant is also projected to process about 40 million gallons of waste oil every year, creating about 30 million gallons of base lube upon completion of the recycling and refining process.
“Most oil is recycled, but not recycled to it’s original use,” said Vince Glorioso, the vice president of FCC Environmental. “Most of it is recycled and used as energy.”
Putting it simply, the recycling process works by removing the contaminants, additives, and other heavy materials from the waste oil. What goes into a car engine is the base lube (the final product of the recycling process) mixed with additives such as friction modifiers and water depressants. The additional things are removed to get that base lube.
The waste oil will be collected from automotive shops, car dealerships, and any other place that does engine oil changes. The recycling plant will turn this waste oil into the base lube, which will then be sold to a lubricant blender, where the base lube will be turned into diesel motor oils, transmission fluids and other lubricating products.
“This precludes manufacturing oils from crude oils,” Glorioso said. “One barrel of crude oil contains 42 gallons, but all that is used to make lots of different products. Only one half gallon [of the barrel] is used to create lubricants.”
Getting all that feed, or incoming waste oil won’t be a problem, as FCC is already a waste oil company. The FCC already collects used oil is 38 facilities in the United States. Seven facilities are located within 250 miles of Baltimore, and those facilities will be the ones providing the waste oil for recycling.
“FCC Environmental is the second largest collector of waste oil,” Glorioso said. “We are a subsidiary of FCC in Madrid, which has taken the initiative to take the material of waste oil and redefine it.”
Overall, oil is used for more than gasoline. Companies like FCC Environmental are recognizing that finding an alternative for oil isn’t the only answer, and isn’t necessarily the answer for diesel motor oil and transmission fluids. Here is where recycling can make a difference.
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