I always thought about this. Since we muct have a TON of used motor oil being generated in this country…Can we turn all that used motor oil into Gasoline? If so…great…If not…Why not?
Gasoline is manufactured from raw crude oil so I suspect that making gasoline from dirty oil with additives may make the process more expensive. Just a guess but I believe it’s a fairly accurate conclusion.
The most economical use of old motor oil is for heating oil, or processing into “new” motor oil.
The lighter hydrocarbons in crude were already evaporated out at the refinery. Is it possible to convert motor oil for diesel uses? Possibly. But not economical.
No. Used motor can’t be re-refined back up into crude and then into gasoline. But is does have a host of other uses–one in particular is re-refined for use as, well, motor oil. Lots of auto shops in colder climates have waste-oil heaters–they use it for heat instead of gas, electric, etc. It’s also used in asphalt I believe.
I believe the railroads use processed used motor-oil as engine fuel…The really large diesels use a heavier grade of oil than #2…
It simply is not worth to effort to clean up motor oil and crack it into gasoline…There simply is not enough of it and it’s an expensive process…
You guys have no idea what’s going to happen when Saudi Arabia is forced to cut back production because of field depletion…The day after that announcement, gasoline will be $10/gallon and you will wait on line to get it…
We get the most out of used motor oil in Maine. The used oil helps to heat the shop and the plastic cans go right into the wood stove. If it’s too dirty we just mix it with Gatorade and drink it.
I didn’t mean to say that used oil comes in cans. Corrections are free.
Possible but very expensive and economically foolish. The best use is for re-refining into more lube oil, followed by combustion in such equipment as cement kilns or very large diesel engines with coke bottle-size injectors.
In the artic it’s illegal to dispose of used oil. There is a manufacturer who makes special space heaters that can be fired with used oil. A really neat solution but some air headed environmentalist will no doubt claim that this causes air pollution and the oil should be shipped back to the Lower Forty Eight for “proper disposal”. Never mind all the energy needed (with additional greenhouse gasses) to bring the stuff back stateside.
When oil companies have a large amount of used oil on their hands, They can re-refines it (if they have a re-refinery), they can either burn it in the refinery furnaces, or dump it back ito the crude oil feedstock, where it will end up as either a heavy bunker fuel oil or, if the overall feedstock is suitable for making lube oil, as new lube stock. Under no circumstamnces will this oil be “cracked” or hydrogenated into gasoline.
It is possible to do chemically. It is far easier to make lube or diesel from it. The refinery process from crude is designed to be efficient, for the target fuel. Lube oil is not really a primary target. Also think about this. We use maybe 200-300 gallons or so of gas between oil changes of a gallon to gallon and a half of oil. We generate a million tons of gas or so to a few thousand tons of oil. Diesel or kerosene or low grade fuel oil is the best use in terms of energy efficiency and cheap to do. Also there are many industrial fuel uses for this oil, one that has not been mentioned is industrial scale heating plants. They often burn #4 fuel oil. Almost like 90wt. It has to be heated before the nozzle because it is so thick.
Saudi Arabia has 3.5 million barrels/day reserve production capacity. That’s nearly twice as much as Lybia produces. The Saudi government has already agreed to increase prouction to meet the shortfall should Lybian production get shut in.
The Saudis are smart enough and greedy enough to try to control the flow of oil where it does not cause a worldwide economic slowdown. Their maximum sustainable take would be at $100-$110/barrel, which we can handle without undue inflation. Many countries will see $10 /gallon gas, but not likely the US. A price of $4-$5 would be good for the US to wean the public off thirsty cars and reduce imports.
In 1974 crude oil prices increased form $2.75 to $11.50 a barrel in 6 months and caused a lot of inflation and economic slowdown (stagflation). Most cars were inefficent then and many utilities used oil to fire their electric generators.
I wonder if in some parts they still “oil” the roads.
You’re thinking which is good. Very little used motor oil is wasted these days. In the past a lot of it was discarded but now it is recycled as others have mentioned.
They don’t have to. There are contractors that have 250 CID, 6 cylinder Chevy pickups. They loosen the side covers and enough of it leaks out. Oops, I guess that means yes.
My Mitsu Galant was doing this during the last months of ownership. Was going through a quart of oil each 1000 miles and that had improved its gas mileage.
Our town heats several of it’s buildings (like the DPW) with used motor oil. Great way to recycle it. I’m NOT a fan of Jiffy-Lube, but they also heat their buildings with the oil they drain from the cars.