Cars, trucks, lawnmowers, farm machines, and various industrial machines are an indispensable fact of modern life. All these machines need regular oil changes to run smoothly. But, oil changes generate large volumes of hazardous used oil. Fortunately, used oil recycling can help to not only protect the environment but also conserve natural resources.
Here are some interesting facts on reclaiming and reusing used oil:
1. One litre of oil can pollute as much as one million litres of water.
Just one litre of used oil can float as scum on the surface of one million litres of water. This oil scum and the contaminants it contains are hazardous. The oil can also stop essential sunlight and oxygen from reaching aquatic life living in the contaminated water. The oil can kill frogs, fish, and any other animals that breathe from the surface of the water.
2. Oil may get dirty, but it does not wear out.
Used oil can be easily recycled, says Waste Petroleum Combustion Limited. Oil just gets dirty, but it can still be cleaned, re-refined and reused. Used motor oil can, for instance, be re-refined back into new industrial burner fuel, lubricating oil and hydraulic oil.
3. Recycled used oil can generate a lot of electricity.
Recycled used oil can be used in power plants to generate electricity. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that reusing just 7.5 litres of used oil can generate as much electricity as an average home consumes for approximately 24 hours.
4. 1 litre of used oil produces as much lubricating oil as 42 litres of crude oil.
You need about 67 litres of crude oil to make 1 litre of high-quality lubricating oil. You can produce the same amount of new lubricating oil from just about 1.6 litres of used oil.
Used oil is hazardous. It can contain contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and chromium. Accordingly, if used oil is disposed of incorrectly and released into the environment, it can harm humans, animals, plants and aquatic life. Still, used oil can be a valuable resource if disposed of appropriately. Make some effort to recycle your used oil as well as your oil filters, oil containers and oily rags.