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Comment Sustainability

Improved process for recycling used motor oil produces higher-grade base oils

By Scott Jenkins |

Front-end engineering design (FEED) is underway for a facility designed to de-contaminate and upgrade used motor oil from passenger vehicles into a higher-value product mix of base oils than is currently possible with existing motor-oil recycling processes, and in a way that lowers capital and operating costs compared to current processes. The project is being undertaken by ReGen III Corp. (Vancouver, B.C.; www.regeniii.com), a technology developer focused on re-refining used motor oils, and is supported by engineering and modular construction firm Koch Modular Process Systems LLC (KMPS; Paramus, N.J.; www.kochmodular.com), which developed extraction and distillation technologies used in the process. Initially, collected used motor oil enters a contamination separation unit (CSU), where low- and high-boiling compounds are removed to achieve a desired boiling-point cut. “This step removes some impurities and color, and allows for variability in feeds because it refines any feedstock into a similar boiling point range,” explains Mark Redcliffe, executive vice president at ReGen III. The next stage involves a combination of liquid-liquid extraction and distillation. “The extraction step principally removes color bodies and improves…
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