Ever wonder what becomes of the used motor oil drained from your automobile every few months? Chances are, probably not. Yet, this very question has captivated not only attention, but the imagination of energy companies and environmentalists alike, representing one of the most exciting and encouraging developments in the oil industry today. Motivated by the captivating prospect of a petroleum product having an alternative destination to being burned as a power source, incredible amounts of research and development have been devoted to the possibility of oil serving as a veritable renewable resource. As a result, that possibility has become a readily available opportunity.

Most drivers are quick to equate petroleum with the gas that fuels their vehicles rather than the motor oil their cars and trucks require to sustain healthy engines, even though the United States alone produces approximately 1.3 billion gallons of the substance ever year. Of the tens of millions of barrels which cycle through automobile engines around the world each year,  most is either improperly disposed of—running the risk of polluting and contaminating water supplies—or wasted as an industrial fuel. However, with recent technological developments and state-of-the-art re-refinery plants, leading scientists and engineers have honed the capability to "recycle" used motor oil and restore it to “better than new” quality.

To speak technically, motor oil is approximately 85% oil and 15% additives (detergent, anti-foaming stabilizers) and it is the latter 15% which breaks down by design as contaminants accumulate over time, necessitating oil changes. As the oil molecules themselves retain their chemical compositions, spent motor oil simply needs to be refreshed (stripping away contaminants and the worn out additives), re-refined into American Petroleum Institute (API) approved base oil, and then infused with a fresh additive package, to transform what was once thought of as a waste into a top-grade product.

Universal Lubricants endeavored to create a more sophisticated re-refining process that would actually treat used motor oil in the same manner as crude. Successful, the company does so by implementing a sequence of four steps: (1) flash distillation, removing water, fuel and other contaminants; (2) wiped film evaporation, eliminating metals and heavier particles; (3) hydro treatment, refreshing the oil molecules; and (4) a final distillation, eradicating any trace contaminants lingering in the stock and separating the base II oil into separate grades, ready for blending with a fresh additive package and re-bottling. With the science of re-refining improved multifold, so too the quality of the end product, ECO ULTRA motor oils. ECO ULTRA’s become the trusted choice for optimal engine performance, but also environmental stewardship—the entire process of re-refining motor oil uses 89% less energy than refining oil from virgin crude.

Such advancements are revving the green motor oil revolution to full force, and across America green motor oils are beginning to line the shelves of auto garages, dealerships and commercial retailers. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that improperly handled used motor oil can contaminate one million gallons of freshwater-- a year's supply for 50 people-- this development comes none too soon. In fact, the EPA also suggests that American do-it-yourself oil changers alone could recycle enough oil for 50 million cars a year and that the oil from an average engine change spares two barrels of oil from being imported or extracted-- a number which adds up, quickly.

With products like ECO ULTRA, every driver can make a commitment to sustainability by opting-in to an infinitely repeatable car care cycle. Be part of the green motor oil solution-- turn rubbish into a resource-- recycle your motor oil.

About The Author

John Wesley

John Wesley is the CEO of Universal Lubricants.