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All rights reserved. The solvent used was a mixture of ethanol, 1-butanol and toluene. The effect of operating parameters agitator speed for blending, boiler temperature and solvent to used oil ratio on the recycling process was investigated for optimal conditions. Further study by [ 16 ] utilized blends of solvent toluene, butanol and methanol; toluene, butanol and ethanol and toluene, butanol and isopropanol and activated alumina to refine used lubricating oils.


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  • Design Aspects of Used Lubricating Oil Re-Refining.

The solvent blends were evaluated experimentally at oil to solvent proportion of to Their results confirmed that solvent mixture is able to remove large percentages of sludge from used lubricating oil. The percentage of sludge removal improves with increase in solvent to oil ratios. The refining method was also able to remove a higher percentage of metallic impurities, reduced acid values and enhanced significantly the physical properties of the refined oil.

The present study seeks to investigate the characteristics of the reclaimed oils obtained by solvent extraction technology and evaluate its suitability for reuse by comparing it with the Society of Automotive Engineers SAE quality standards for lube oils. Recycled lubricants must possess certain properties which must meet the lubrication requirements in an engine. These properties include:. Viscosity is a very important property for grading lubricants.

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It is a measure of fluid resistance to flow and is strongly dependent on temperature. A decrease in the viscosity of engine oil indicates that the oil is contaminated [ 17 ]. The SAE viscosity numbers are used by most automotive equipment manufacturers to describe the viscosity of the oil they recommend for use in their products. The greater or higher the SAE viscosity number, the heavier or more viscous the lubricating oil [ 7 ].

The pour point indicates the temperature below which the oil loses its fluidity and will not flow or circulate in the lubricating system. Lubricating oils with low pour points show good quality. Flashpoint is the temperature to which the oil must be heated under specific conditions to give off sufficient vapour to form a flammable mixture with air.

It gives an indication of the presence of volatile compounds in the oil. A decrease in flashpoint reveals that the oil is contaminated through dilution of lubricating oils with unburned fuel [ 18 ]. An increase in flashpoint indicates the evaporation of light components from the lubricating oil [ 17 ].

Design Aspects of Used Lubricating Oil Re-Refining

The flashpoints also portray the relative measure of safe properties of lubricating oils. The total acid number is the measurement of acidity in oils used as lubricants.

Oil and the Re-Refining Process

It is one of the crucial chemical properties that gives stability to lubricating oils. Lubricating oil is said to be stable if it can resist oxidation that yields acids, lacquers and sludge [ 19 ]. TAN indicates the amount of alkali in milligrams that is required to neutralize the acids in one gram of oil. Normally, acidity increases with the oxidation of lubricating oils [ 18 ]. Total base number TBN is a measurement of basicity and is expressed in terms of the equivalent number of milligrams of alkali most especially potassium hydroxide per gram of oil sample.

Oils and lubricants have a base reserve designed to neutralize the acids produced after the combustion process in order to avoid corrosion of engine components [ 20 ]. A low Total base number TBN indicates that the oil has to be changed. Additives are added to lubricating oils to impart specific properties to the finished oil. The oils from refining by conventional methods are not completely satisfactory for use as lubricants.

Therefore, lubricants are highly refined and their properties are improved by the addition of chemicals [ 21 ]. Some of these additives include:. Antioxidants reduce the rate of oxidation of lubricating oils during its use, thereby reducing the formation of corrosive oxidized products. Detergents are added to the motor oil in order to improve engine performance and to prevent material from depositing on the engine pistons.

Foaming of lubricants, [ 21 ] is an undesirable effect that can cause enhanced oxidation by the intensive mixture of oil with air. Viscosity improvers are a long chain, high molecular weight polymers that cause the relative viscosity of oil to increase at high temperatures than at low temperatures [ 22 ]. These additives hinder the process of growth of the crystals of paraffin wax, which form in the oil at low temperatures.

Polymethacrylates with low molecular masses are usually used. Each of the oils had been used for two months by saloon cars before collection. The temperature at which this occurred was recorded as the pour point. Specific gravity is the ratio of the density of a material to the density of an equal volume of water and it is determined using specific gravity bottle.

The specific gravities of oil samples are calculated from the ratio of the weight of oil to the weight of water. The flow time of water and oil samples were measured and recorded when the oils reached the lower and upper marks on the viscometer. The viscosity of oils was determined using the equation below. Measurement of Total acid number TAN in the study was done using the procedure specified by [ 23 ].

About 10 g of lubricating oil was dissolved in a mixture of toluene and 2-propanol solution with a small amount of water. The dissolved solution was then titrated with 0. The collected oil samples were allowed to settle at room temperature for 24 h and dehydrated to remove solid particle constituents and the water added to the oil during combustion.

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Solvent extraction treatment was then carried out on the oil samples using composite solvent of butanol and n- Hexane, potassium hydroxide KOH and activated charcoal. The mixture was then allowed to settle in a separation flask for 24 h. Figure 1 b shows oil adsorption process with activated charcoal. The heated mixture was then left for 2 h to allow gravity settling. It was then filtered with a filter paper to recover base oil from adsorbent mixture. Figure 2 a,b show the used and reclaimed oils respectively. Physical properties kinematic viscosity, specific gravity, flash point and pour point of the recycled oils E1, E2 and E3 were obtained using the same test methods explained above.

These properties were compared with the Society of Automotive Engineers SAE standard properties for lubricating oils to determine the suitability of the recovered oils for re-use. Table 2 shows the physical properties obtained for the used engine oil samples E1, E2 and E3. At room temperature, the used oil was dark liquid Plate 3a. In comparison with the specification of lube oil for SAE20, 30 and 40, the specific gravity of the used oil is higher indicating the presence of contaminants in the oil, thus rendering it ineffective.

Viscosity of the used lubricating oil below the standard specification for lube oil renders it unfit for recycling. However, viscosity values of the used engine oils under study can be improved significantly. As also expected, the flash points of the used oils are lower to the value of the virgin oils due to contamination or dilution of the lubricating oils by unburned fuel. The pour point of the used oil is however higher than the values obtained for the virgin oils.

Table 3 shows the physical properties obtained for reclaimed oils from the three oil samples.