Automotive Oil Recycling
Every year, automobile owners like you and I send our prized vehicles for periodic maintenance. We do this to ensure that our cars, vans, trucks, or even motorcycles run smoothly and continue to do so for many years to come.
During these visits to our preferred workshops, one of the most basic things that is done first is to change the oils that keep our vehicles running smoothly. No matter what kind of automobile it is, it uses many different kinds of oils such as those which exist in the form of lubrication oils used in the engine, fluids used in hydraulics, as well as gear oils used in the transmission gear box, to name a few.
While some oils are changed more often than others, the fact still remains: we change the oils out often throughout the lifespan of our vehicles and we do not reuse the same oils twice. It’s common knowledge that those oils cannot simply be disposed of by pouring it down the drain and into the ocean, so what actually happens to those oils?
Well, those oils get recycled!
Why Recycle Used Oil?
There are many reasons why we should recycle oil. First and foremost, lets understand that these automotive oils don’t actually expire or get worn out in any way; these oils don’t become ‘bad’, they just become dirty. They become dirty from constantly flowing around in our engines, gearboxes, or hydraulics, and keeping those parts of the overall machine running smoothly. Eventually, the oils become dirty to a point where they cease to remain useful in those parts of our cars. When changed out, these used oils can be cleaned and reused or re-processed into different oil-based products.
Clean or dirty, these oils must be recycled so that they do not create pollution and damage by ending up in the soil or seeping into the water. This kind of pollution can be very bad not only for plant life and animals but also for human beings as well.
Dangers of Used Automotive Oil
One of the reasons why automotive oil in particular can be quite dangerous to the environment is because of the same reason it’s so useful in the first place: the viscosity of the oils. While the viscosity of the oil is a good quality to have inside a car engine, on the outside it can wreak a lot of havoc because oils stick to everything, including any soil or animal that it comes into contact with.
During any major incident of pollution involving oil leaking into rivers or the ocean, casualties include the fish and other life forms underwater, as well as the birds that try to feed on them.
Having said that, the environment isn’t the only reason why companies would want to recycle used automotive oils. Doing so also makes great economic sense!
Benefits of Recycling Oil
Used automotive oils can be cleaned and reused, or they could be re-refined into lubricants or as raw materials for various products of the petroleum industry. This makes perfect economic sense for the companies involved because it reduces the amount of resources normally needed to produce these oils from their base materials, such as crude oil.
Doing so not only contributes towards saving the environment, it also cuts down production costs. When production costs go down, eventually it results in lower costs for customers as well!
So the next time you take your car in for servicing and an oil change, ask your mechanic how they usually recycle the oil removed from your engine. You’ll be surprised to learn that the “life” of your engine oil doesn’t come to an end at that point; as a matter of fact, thanks to recycling, the oil used in your engine might be made useful for other people for many years in the future!