This report presents the results of studies undertaken to determine the extent of the problem resulting from the disposal of waste oils and the effect of various disposal techniques on the environment. Of the estimated 1.1 billion gallons of waste oil generated annually in the U.S., 480 million gallons (treated or untreated) are used as fuel, 90 million gallons are re-refined to lubricating oil, 200 million gallons are used in road oil and asphalt, and the fate of 340 million gallons, including 30 million gallons of re-refinery wastes, is unknown. The weakest link in the overall waste oil recycling/disposal scheme was found to be the collection of waste oils from industrial operations and automotive service facilities. The refining industry itself appeared viable, but was complicated not only by the difficulty of acquiring waste oils, but also by labeling requirements which connotate that products made from waste oil are inferior, increasingly more stringent environmental controls that require expenditures for capital improvements, increasing difficulty in disposing of acid/clay sludge waste resulting from the process that predominates in the industry, and the lack of quality assurance that would generate confidence in the products of re-refineries. Two recommendations were suggested: (1) for cases wherein a waste oil product can meet required specifications, the labeling requlation should be reexamined to eliminate the connotation that a product made from waste oil is inferior; and (2) IRS Ruling 68-1-8 should be reexamined to deterimine the feasibility of allowing non-highway users of re-refined oil to obtain refunds of taxes paid on virgin oil blended with re-refined lubricating oil. The report was organized under the following chapter headings: generation of waste oil; physical and chemical characteristics of waste oil; methods of collection and disposal; re-refining technology; waste oil reuse as a fuel; the effects of waste crankcase oil on selected marine and freshwater organisms; economic and legal aspects of waste oil policy; and Federal procurement of products made from waste oil.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Environmental Protection Agency

    401 M Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20460
  • Publication Date: 1974-4

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 402 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00097917
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 1975 12:00AM