A new era of waste oil recycling technology: ORS plasma tube process
Oil Recycling Solutions (ORS) is an effective and robust method for optimal recycling of waste oil back to high quality base oils. During the development and continuous improvement of our ORS re-refining process, we have assumed that the environment has a legitimate future, because without environmental protection there is no future. Starting with Europe and beyond, environmental protection has grown into a first class job, to serve with the goal of natural resource conservation, the protection of human health and the preservation, protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. All of the above objectives should be achievable while lowering costs compared with conventional refinery processes.
Fluid Solutions offers very economical and effective method of recycling waste oils that occur continuously in the automotive industry. 17 years ago, the German based company SÜDÖL Petroleum Refinery Ltd. (Eislingen/Germany) installed the first plasma tubular reactor waste oil treatment plant.
Over a long period of time up to date this unique process has been optimized by the engineers and technicians of this company leading to a commercially viable and robust concept enabling SÜDÖL to operate this process with great success. About 10 years ago a second facility in Saudi Arabia was built following the same principles of this process.
At this time the joint venture called ORS (Oil Recycling Solutions GmbH in Hamburg, Germany) has been founded by SÜDÖL and Fluid Solutions aiming to spread this technology throughout the world targeting potential investors worldwide.
Fortunately ORS were able to get Prof. Dr. Eng. Niemeyer on board who is known as an engineering expert on Process Development from the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg and he played a significant role in further developing this process up to a point where Fluid Solutions is today: A complete turn-key solution ready-to-start.
Notably, in Germany, all available waste oil including any imported volume deriving from the entire automotive industry but also from other areas is being collected through independent centralized systems controlled by the government. Here, nearly 100% of all waste oils are recycled and reprocessed as base oils market in the lubricant industry. Only a tiny proportion today is still incinerated and burned in cement factories. In most other parts of the world a very large part of the waste oil is still just burned to satisfy short-term energy consumption.
From an ecological point of view there is no doubt that this really doesn’t make any sense at all and even more to the point what happened during the recent years is that due to permanently rising crude oil prices any used oil re-recycle technology is becoming more and more attractive to investors but also politicians. The fact that collecting procedures but also if being urged to pay for waste oil costing a lot of money it is correct to say that an investment into this novel technology is truly justifiable.
The key question is as to whether it is the political environment or just a desire for environmentally friendly solutions in public minds that drives investors to make such an investment provided enough waste oil is available.
Please note that a simple economic approach constitutes any investment in this plasma-tube process as goes hand in hand with an outstanding short Return On Investment (ROI) timeframe.
The essential steps that are applied in the most effective and optimized working plasma tubular reactor oil recycling plant at SÜDÖL, are characterized by three main features: the technology is designed relatively simple and strong and thus also low priced in the capital cost during operation; the system provides a high yield of base oils in a high purity with regard to the processing of new lubricants; the recovery of high-quality components to be recycled from the waste oil (i.e. PAO) with a high viscosity index by simultaneously decomposing of undesirable by-products (i.e. olefins, S-containing components) leads to a base oil quality that is close to API Group III performance criteria (VI = 116).
ORS fully supports customers in the commissioning phase and early operation stages of the plant by means of a comprehensive service package. This service package can then be extended to a long term agreement ensuring the operator will always be granted to have full access to the support provided by ORS engineering staff making sure latest updates will become available in order to participate in ORS’ continuous optimization processes. The other part of the investment that financially constitutes the biggest portion of the total investment costs shall be delegated to local operating companies. This applies to premises and/or real estate costs such as the entire construction work, tank building and pipeline construction costs as well as steel construction and costs associated with the electrical periphery. The total costs of the investment are dependent on many factors.
In summary, the process is very environment-friendly and all residual materials can be recovered economically reasonable.