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Matthew

Page history last edited by wikiuser0007 10 years, 7 months ago

The Process of Oil Recycling

 

     The petroleum products that we use to power our cars are damaging to the environment.  No matter how padded the damage that the automobile does it will not go away and because of the ties that bind our economy to our automobiles and not having one is almost impossible in order survive in contemporary society.  The gasoline that we burn puts out emissions that even with today’s complex filtering systems damage our environment. 

 

     The damage is severe and is a consequence of our dependence on fossil fuels.  The damage however can be somewhat stopped.  The brake fluid, transmission fluid, motor oil, clutch fluid and power steering fluid are all recyclable and are able to be synthesized to a point to where it would be reusable in other industrial applications.  This does not stop the need for oil, but it does help reduce the need to drill for more.  It does not in any way detract from the damage that comes from using petroleum products.  However with it being a non-renewable energy source we must get what use we can out of it until additional energy sources are ready to be used in society.

 

Preliminary

 

1.  The first step in the oil recycling process is finding a recycling facility equipped with a holding tank safe enough for the storage of oil.  Most auto shops and parts store carry such a tank and will take used oil at no charge.  Consumers should bring their used petroleum products here.  All that is required is for the consumer to dump their oil in the storage tank and the shops would take it from there.

 

2. A special truck comes every month to service the tanks and drain them of the used oil.  These trucks then transport the used oil to a local collection center where they do the pretreatment of the oil before it is sent to a recycling facility.

 

3.  It is here that the oil is put in even larger settling tanks and over time any water or moisture in the oil will separate itself from the oil.  The water settles at the bottom of the tank where it can be removed safely and then can be further processed by a community’s water treatment facility.  This process is known as de-watering.

 

4. Next the oil is transported to a proper recycling facility depending on if it will be burned as a fuel or remanufactured  as a base for lubricants.

 

 

 

 

 

For fuel

 

The oil is put into what is called a reaction tank and mixed with small quantities of sulphuric acid heated to 60 degrees Celsius.  It is then mixed with what is called a surfactant.  After being mixed the tank it is let to sit.  Over time the mixture once again separates into two compounds.  One is an oil free of inorganic substances and the other is the aqueous leftovers containing all the contaminants in the oil.   The contaminants conveniently sit at the bottom of the tank and are drained into a separate holding tank where all the moisture evaporates and all the contaminants harden.  This solid state is disposed of leaving a clean oil that is ready to be used as a fuel.

 

 

 

For lubrication

 

1. There is another pretreatment step required before the oil is ready to be refined.  The oil that has been dewatered is transferred into a column where propane is injected into the bottom.  Because the oil is heavier than the propane it flows down the column and the propane rises up.  The propane then acts as a filter dissolving the asphalt found in the oil.  The propane floats up with all of the extract and is transferred into another tank where it is vaporized.  It then separates itself from the asphalt propane mixture and is stored in another tank for further use and the asphalt is also transferred into another tank.

 

The de-asphalted oil is again heated to vaporize leftover propane then is transported to the next step in the refining process.

 

2.  The next part is called atmospheric distillation.  This process is relatively simple.  The oil is heated at varying temperatures to turn all of the contaminants into their gaseous form.  The contaminants are then sucked out from the top of the heating tower and the treated oil is transferred to the next step in the process.

 

3.  The final step is called vacuum distillation.  The oil that has come from the atmospheric distillation is heated before being fed into a pressurized column where a vacuum is created.  As the vacuum is created the heated oil is vaporized without even having thermal breakdown.  

 

 

As different pressures of vacuum are created the different weights of oil are redistributed into even more holding tanks to be further used as a base for lubricating oils.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Even with these complicated processes waste products are still produced and the fuel created from theses processes is burned and creates even more hydrocarbons in the atmosphere.  A cleaner alternative fuel source is a necessity for our growing world, but we must do all that we can with what we have.  Recycling oil may not completely save us for the harm of fossil fuel, but it is the only known refining process for petroleum products.

 

Doing something is better than doing nothing.

 

 

 

Images provided by

http://www.oilrecycling.gov.au/what-happens.html

 

 

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