Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Can Motor Oil be Recycled? - Vol.88

Many people seem to wonder if motor oil can be recycled or not. When changing the motor oil of their car, they tend to dispose the old oil when they replace it with fresh oil. It is true that motor oil needs to be changed regularly for better performance and longer life of the engine. However, it does not imply that the oil that has been taken out is no longer of any use.
It is true that motor oil can be recycled. This does not mean that it can be recycled and put back into the automobile. What it means is that the recycled motor oil can be used for other purposes. But that too depends on the quality of the oil. Sometimes recycling may be expensive as well but sometimes it can be processed at a cheaper cost and utilized for certain purposes.

Crude oil is refined and fragmented down to lighter versions like petroleum. The lighter versions are more useful and serve more purpose than crude oil itself. The quality of crude oil also defines the quality of the subsequent bi-products that are extracted after fragmentation and refining. Quality also determines the extent to which fragmentation is possible and what specific bi-products can be extracted from it.

Motor oil similarly can be defragmented after it has been taken out of the automobile. This oil can then be processed into further fragments which may be used for other purposes like lubrication. It cannot be put back into the car because then it will cost more and there is also no point in doing so. Mechanics usually do not dispose the old oil which they take out of the engine during an oil change. They often use this motor oil for their own personal use like lubricating the nuts and bolts that they fix.

They even sell it to processing plants that refine this used motor oil and produce further bi-products which are then used for several purposes. The slightly refined motor oil can then be used as lubricants in machinery and sold to such industries or even for some forms of engine lubrication. It is sometimes even refined and cooled down to a certain point to form or be combined with grease. Grease itself has several uses of its own and has several purposes that it serves as well.

The recycling of oil is being advocated all over the world. Because of the fact that oil is a scarce resource and has numerous advantages and uses, it is being asked of each individual to save as much oil as possible and recycle as much as possible. Many countries like China have even installed huge plants to refine oil, especially used oil so that it can be reused in different forms and does not go to waste unnecessarily. It is true that only certain qualities of oil can be refined and reused through recycling but that which can be recycled should be recycled and put to more efficient use.

The bio-diesel engine like the one researched by Land Rover is another way of recycling oil. The engine is designed to run on used oil of different types. Kerosene, vegetable oil, cooking oil and motor oil will be used by the engine as its fuel instead of the more refined forms like petrol. The technology is still not out in the market but if and when it does come out, it will serve a great recycling purpose.

But the answer to the popular question that can motor oil be recycled indefinitely is yes. It might not be a direct form of recycling but more of an indirect form.