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Can Motor Oil Be Recycled?

We all try to do our part for the environment by recycling old newspapers and soda cans. Why not our old motor oil?

draining motor oil from car

Photo: Dvortygirl (wikimedia)

Where does all that used oil go?

Most drivers are told to change their oil frequently, about once a year, to maintain and extend the life of their car’s engine. In this day and age, almost everyone has a car and that quickly adds up to a lot of used oil.

Where does all that used oil go?

Engineers at Universal Lubricants and other facilities are working on a way to increase the amount of recycled oil and reduce waste. More recycled oil means less crude oil drilled, saving money and the environment.

The technology for recycling oil is already here! How do they do it?

First, they distill the oil to remove the water. After that, evaporation separates out the contaminants and additives. Finally, the oil is super-heated t 700 degrees Fahrenheit to re-infuse the hydrocarbon molecules with hydrogen atoms.

What you end up with is a very high grade, ready-to-use motor oil.

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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