Conversion of Used Engine Oil into Lubricating Grease
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Israa Bani Odeh
The main objective of this project was to convert used engine lubricating oils into lubricating greases. Lubricating oil was an important resource and a petroleum base product. The high price of lube oil and objective of saving valuable foreign exchange had resulted in efforts for regeneration of used engine lube oil and converted it for useful products. Mismanagement of waste engine lube oil was a serious worldwide environmental problem, unfortunately, most of used oil was handled improperly, and some is emptied into sewers for going directly into waste water. Some was dumped directly into the ground to kill weeds or was poured into dirty roads or is dumped in deserts, where it could contaminate surface and ground water, and some garages may be sold it for wood painting, or it may be used in heating resulting in air pollution. So all of these ways were adversely affecting the environment. Large quantities of used engine lubricating oil were produced yearly in Palestine which was approximately about 2.3 million kg. And all of these amounts were disposed in a wrong ways. So that the idea of this project was found in order to protect the environment from pollution, and to make a profitable project. The production of the greases with various viscosities were done using different types of thickening agents such as calcium soap, sodium soap or complex soap, and different tests were performed to the grease in order to examine the effectiveness of the grease for different applications. From the results of grease tests, it was found that the optimum soap-thickened grease was 15% Na bases soap, 15% Na+10% Ca of complex soap-thickened grease, and 10% Na+ 2% polyethylene grease. A detailed economic study was done for the project, in order to see the profitability of project, it was found that the total investment cost was about (3.5 million NIS/ year), and the total fixed cost of production was nearly equal (481,000 NIS/ year), the total variable cost of production was approximately equal (6 million NIS/ year), then the net profit was to about (959,000 NIS/ year) with nearly 3.5 year payback period.