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Thread: Polyolester oil recycling

  1. #1
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    Polyolester oil recycling

    Hi, everybody. I was away for few years.
    Anyway, here's an issue I came across recently.
    I tried searching on the forum, on the internet and even on the search engines of internation journals of academic research, with not much success.

    Is there any company or organisation technically able to recycle poe oil?
    I don't mean to dispose of it. I mean to be able to rework the polluted oil and return it back in the chain of supply, either as POE oil or lubricant/grease of some sort.
    I've been stockpiling used oil from decommissioned compressors and would like to responsibly return it in a environmental-sustainable and circular way.

    Thanks everybody.

  2. #2
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    Not aware of any. Check for compatibility with waste oil burners.

  3. #3
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    I think maybe you're overthinking this. Bring it to any place that accepts used motor oil, such as most auto parts stores, walmart, maybe your city recycling center, etc.

    Some of it might end up getting burned to make heat or electricity or somebody's home brew diesel fuel, and some might get used to make new oil and products.




    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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  5. #4
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    Technically, it is illegal to mix used refrigerant oil with used motor oil....but I'm sure it all goes in the same tank at the recycling center.

    I used to work at an aluminium production plant. They melted aluminum blocks to make products. The vats of molten metal were about 30' in diameter. They literally dumped all their trash dumpsters into the vats. Whatever didn't burn, ended up as slag on top of the liquid. Then they just scraped it off the top, and put it in the dumpsters that they paid for disposal.

    Most people don't know about the technicality of mixing used oils, so I always just took mine to the auto parts store. Occasionally, I would ask an employee if it was OK, and they always said yes.

    The only oil I ever had a problem with was from ammonia systems, but that's only because of the smell...

  6. #5
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    That reminds me of vacuum pump oil. When I take it in I say it is non detergent 30 weight because essentially it is.
    The little bit of compressor oil I had I just mixed with the motor oil too.
    I am planning on getting a 500 gallon tote for my shop because it is much easier to get a waste oil company to come out for over 300 gallons.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

  7. #6
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    I started having problems bringing waste vacuum pump oil, and any other oil that was clean looking.

    So now It all gets mixed with my used motor oil, then they take it no questions asked.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  9. #7
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    I probably overlooked to mention one important thing: I am in Europe, and here the environmental agencies are quite fussy about petrochemical products.
    I can't mix poe with motor oil for a number of reasons:
    1) I don't have motor oil in reasonable amounts and can't justify in the face of the law the origin of such amounts of POE oil under motor oil disguise.
    2) POE oil, from the law point of view, is not even oil. Anything described as "oil" or "lubricant" can be confused by law enforcing agencies as a petrochemical product, and as such shall be subject to excise taxes. POE is actually an organic liquid compound. I heard a number of fellow engineers having their containers seized by police under suspicion of tax evasion.
    3) We would like to reduce the amount of new product placed on the market, or sell it as low cost POE oil.
    4) It always helps showing oneself to be environmentally responsible.

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  11. #8
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    Then contact your local jurisdictional authority, and ask what they want you to do with it.

    I have worked in chemical plants for years. When it comes to separating "product" from one another, it's done by using heat and pressure...along with adding chemicals. I would bet that ALL waste oil collected by recycling companies is mixed for shipping, and sent for processing.

    On a side note, it's funny how your punishment for not saving the planet comes in the form of money paid to political organizations.....

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71CHOPS View Post
    it's funny how your punishment for not saving the planet comes in the form of money paid to political organizations.....
    Yeah, pretty much like congestion charges in crowded cities do not go in alleviating traffic.

  14. #10
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    I am pretty sure from my past studies of this matter, talking about POE and PAG oils, that since they are a mix of synthetic and ester oil compounds they have both been determined to be "biodegradable". With the description of being "biodegradable" then one would assume that disposal is not regulated IF the toxicity of the oil has been verified. Even if this oil is truly biodegradable and can just be poured down a drain, then there is a moral dilemma for some that is "what is greener", disposing of a biodegradable to the sewer and dump OR recycling it?

    The key, too, is the toxicity of that oil, there are times that refrigerant oil may have glycol from a ruptured heat exchanger, high acidity, etc. How do we make that determination without sufficient testing before pouring it down a drain?

    Under those cases I have talked with Safety-Kleen in the past and they have no issues excepting this oil, they will ultimately mix it with any other oils and run it all through their re-refining facility that will separate all your different grades, glycol (anti-freeze), and lighter oils from each other. Pretty complex set-up I was told, with evaporation vacuums for moisture removal, etc.

    But from what I know here at my location we can not mix refrigerant oils with, lets say, the garages automotive based oils. We have two separate drums at our hazardous waste collection site here. But it appears that Safety-Kleen down the line will ultimately mix them no matter what, again, from what I was told. So when to mix is a question, too?

    I know Europe may be a bit different but even so this is a subject that has a lot of grey areas that I feel should really be talked about more, POE has been around for a long time, this is nothing new in our industry, so I do find it peculiar as with the OP that there is no definite examples given on exactly how we should be handling contaminated POE, Mineral, PAG, Vacuum Pump, and other obscure oils that we utilize in the HVAC/R industry, world wide.

    The comments so far only prove that none of us really know for sure what the f^ck is legal and not legal when it comes to this sh!t......LOL

    I will call a few places today and tomorrow, interested what the official word is from these larger oil recycling companies are, not just word of mouth from a recovery driver picking up our oil.

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  16. #11
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    The funny thing about it is that performance engine oils may very well contain Poe along with several other kinds of oil other than highly refined so-called synthetic petroleum. They use whatever is needed to meet the specification.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

  17. #12
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    Thanks. I appreciate your involvement.

  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slctech View Post
    I am pretty sure from my past studies of this matter, talking about POE and PAG oils, that since they are a mix of synthetic and ester oil compounds they have both been determined to be "biodegradable".
    I will call a few places today and tomorrow, interested what the official word is from these larger oil recycling companies are, not just word of mouth from a recovery driver picking up our oil.
    I wonder if you had any feedback... thanks.

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