March 2006

High utility bills cause plants to consider recycling waste oil for heat

Cleveland, OH— According to a new survey by Abanaki Corporation, a manufacturer of oil skimming products, more plant managers are considering recycling waste oil as a way to fight rising energy costs. In the survey results, 78 percent of respondents are struggling to find ways to reduce plant energy costs, and in the face of record-high fuel oil prices, 35 percent of respondents said they would consider burning waste oil to heat their plants.

Although three quarters of the respondents said that their companies skim oil from their wastewater, only eight percent said that their plants already burn waste oil for heat.

Using an oil skimmer, companies can collect up to 40 gallons per hour of oil or grease from wastewater. When combined with an oil concentrator, the amount of water in the oil can be reduced to less than one percent in most cases, making the oil suitable for burning in a waste oil furnace or boiler.

Abanaki sent the e-mail survey in January, 2006 to plant and maintenance managers at manufacturing plants, machine shops and other industrial facilities. The findings are based on 119 completed surveys.

In addition, the survey uncovered a widely held misperception: 70 percent of respondents thought EPA regulations for plants burning their own used oil were more stringent than regulations for waste oil disposal. In fact, the regulations are more relaxed. The EPA supports the burning of used oil on site, because it prevents oil from entering the watershed and eliminates the risk of spills during transportation.

Because it usually has a thicker viscosity, used oil possesses more energy than #2 fuel oil and more than twice the energy value of LP gas or coal. Waste oils that can be burned for heat include almost any oil up to 50 S.A.E.: metal cutting oils, lube oil, crankcase oil, transmission and hydraulic fluid, #1 and #2 diesel fuel, vegetable oils and grease.

For more information about oil skimming and how to burn waste oil, contact Chris Ott at (800)358-7546, or by e-mail:


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