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mrwillie
mrwillie Reader
12/1/09 12:55 p.m.

Help me out w/ some random brain storming.... does anyone know of any DIY methods for recycling used motor oil? I know that there are metals and things in the oil that can be harmful, and also know that the additive packages would probably be used up. But is there a way to even partially clean old oil up so that its usable at home? There are companies that recycle motor oil but I hadn't found any details about the process yet. Or even distill it for diesel or something else usable for fuel? How is oil cleaned commercially and is it scalable to something a home-user could do? I also have heard about the waste oil heaters, but there has to be more? Maybe I'm wrong...what say ye??

mrwillie
mrwillie Reader
12/1/09 1:40 p.m.
mrwillie wrote: Help me out w/ some random brain storming.... does anyone know of any DIY methods for recycling used motor oil? I know that there are metals and things in the oil that can be harmful, and also know that the additive packages would probably be used up. But is there a way to even partially clean old oil up so that its usable at home? There are companies that recycle motor oil but I hadn't found any details about the process yet. Or even distill it for diesel or something else usable for fuel? How is oil cleaned commercially and is it scalable to something a home-user could do? I also have heard about the waste oil heaters, but there has to be more? Maybe I'm wrong...what say ye??

Just found this... US Patent 5885444 - Process for converting waste motor oil to diesel fuel http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5885444/description.html

apparently its been done. It seems kinda complicated and expensive for small scale use, though.

petegossett
petegossett Dork
12/1/09 2:11 p.m.

Diy waste-oil heater, does that count? There's a pretty good site showing how to build one out of an old water-heater tank.

mrwillie
mrwillie Reader
12/1/09 2:30 p.m.

I guess it does, but I was thinking more along the lines of a fuel usage. I've got a few gallons that I keep forgetting to dispose of and it got me thinking. Something about being stuck inside w/ a newborn and lack of sleep makes you think of interesting things. I was even considering a small distillation tower( like you would use for homebrew ethanol ) to remove the water and other items, but apparently its not that easy.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
12/1/09 3:04 p.m.

In Vermont, they used to spray it on gravel roads to cut dust and make the roads less pothole prone.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
12/1/09 3:04 p.m.

Or spray it on the bottom of a car, run it down a dirt road to 'rust proof'

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
12/1/09 3:09 p.m.

Not sure if it's troof or urban legend, but I've heard the Amish did/do use it to stain furniture. Cribs, maybe not so much.

Toyman01
Toyman01 HalfDork
12/1/09 4:08 p.m.

I have a friend that takes it out of his diesel Excursion and uses it in his diesel Isuzu DD. Does that count? By the time the Isuzu is done with it, there isn't anything to dispose of. 400+k makes it a little loose around the seals.

pigeon
pigeon HalfDork
12/1/09 5:01 p.m.
Per Schroeder wrote: In Vermont, they used to spray it on gravel roads to cut dust and make the roads less pothole prone.

In my town they still use oil and gravel to coat the roads every 2-4 years - just drop the gravel, spray down with oil and let traffic work the gravel down into the macadam. Totally crazy IMO and gives me lots of extra rock chips on my cars.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
12/1/09 5:46 p.m.

I've been to a few petrochem refineries. Not something I would want to attempt in the basement.

Tighe
Tighe New Reader
12/1/09 6:01 p.m.
Per Schroeder wrote: In Vermont, they used to spray it on gravel roads to cut dust and make the roads less pothole prone.

That worked like a charm in Times Beach, Missouri as well.

carguy123
carguy123 Dork
12/1/09 6:17 p.m.

How can they spray it on miles and miles of roads without ill effects and yet we can't dump it around our fence posts to kill weeds cause it'll get into the water table?

joey48442
joey48442 SuperDork
12/1/09 6:21 p.m.

I squirt it into my rocket panels and such to help keep rust away.

Joey

iceracer
iceracer HalfDork
12/1/09 6:39 p.m.
Per Schroeder wrote: In Vermont, they used to spray it on gravel roads to cut dust and make the roads less pothole prone.

They used to do that in NY also. The local road crews used to buy all the used oil from my dad's garage.

And the "rust proofing" wasn't unheard of either.

rmarkc
rmarkc Reader
12/1/09 8:07 p.m.

Dad used to pour it on our gravel driveway to keep down the dust too. Of course, we lived in town with city water. I wouldn't think about doing that now that I have a well.

patgizz
patgizz Dork
12/1/09 8:19 p.m.
poopshovel wrote: Not sure if it's troof or urban legend, but I've heard the Amish did/do use it to stain furniture. Cribs, maybe not so much.

my wife's dad has some "thrifty tendencies' and he soaks regular pine boards in used motor oil when he builds a fence instead of buying pressure treated wood. seems to work, his 11 year old fence isnt rotten yet.

griffin729
griffin729 Reader
12/1/09 9:30 p.m.
carguy123 wrote: How can they spray it on miles and miles of roads without ill effects and yet we can't dump it around our fence posts to kill weeds cause it'll get into the water table?

I wondered that myself. And, they do it here around Lafayette, IN too.

curtis73
curtis73 HalfDork
12/2/09 12:56 a.m.

Before its sprayed on roads, its converted somehow. I read up on it in the local paper in ONT where I noticed they were oiling roads. As I recall its sorta like transesterifying but not the same technique. The point was not to remove the Glycerol (since its not a fat) but to basically reduce it to a harmless molecule.

Some ideas for your waste oil...

1- take it to a recycling place like the local auto parts store

2- use it as bar and chain oil in your chainsaw

3- burn it in a furnace to heat your garage

4- put some of it in an oil can to lube stubborn bolts

5- mix it with diesel fuel for a penetrating lube

6- host a topless female wrestling tournament. Nothing like two half-naked chicks grappling it out in a pit of oil.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
12/2/09 4:58 a.m.

While in the old days, used crankcase oil was sprayed on roads. That's true. Today, it's not true. Vegetable oils are used, or more commonly some of the crusting agents are used. Some of those crusting agents are pretty durn neat. They do not have the environmental effects of crankcase oil.

Yes, old crankcase oil has been used to stain wood. Though more commonly it was, and still is, used to coat the barns and sheds and such. Makes a pretty good preservative. My family has been using it for decades on many of their barns and out buildings.

An interesting grass roots method of cleaning crankcase oil that I've seen, but never tried, is a rope. As in two buckets, one above the other. The top one has the dirty oil in it. A clean rope is dropped in the top one and dangled down to the lower one. Wicking action slowly transfers the oil from the top bucket to the lower bucket. It looks very clean in the lower bucket.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/2/09 7:35 a.m.

I use it to burn out stumps. I had been pouring it thru a paper filter and using it in the lawn tractor but the motor on the lawn tractor threw its only piston at me. Go figure.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
12/2/09 7:45 a.m.
carguy123 wrote: How can they spray it on miles and miles of roads without ill effects and yet we can't dump it around our fence posts to kill weeds cause it'll get into the water table?

The operative word is they USED to do that.

Tar is basically really thick gooey oil anywho. The last out of the distillation process.

energylogic
energylogic
12/2/09 8:46 a.m.

Though there are several uses for that used oil, dropping off at a local garage that burns it for fuel is a great option. Not only will the oil be safely recycled onsite (full combusted with only a fine ash as the byproduct), you'll be helping a local garage save money by reducing or eliminating a heating bill.

find out more at www.energylogic.com.

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
12/2/09 8:54 a.m.

Use it to waterproof a canoe?

thedude
thedude Reader
12/2/09 8:59 a.m.

first choice: recycle at any oil change place

i read here or somewhere similar of a guy who would take the oil out of his car, and put it in his beater truck, then out of the beater truck into his lawn mower.

Tetzuoe
Tetzuoe Reader
12/2/09 9:18 a.m.

Option 6 is not getting the attention it deserves.

I really wanna try 5, but I just don't have diesel kicking around the garage.

I usually keep a bottle around to dip drill bits and taps in.

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