Re-refining of Spent Ester-Based Synthetic Lubricants

EPA Contract Number: 68D70044
Title: Re-refining of Spent Ester-Based Synthetic Lubricants
Investigators: Liu, Paul K.T.
Small Business: Media and Process Technology Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1997 through March 1, 1998
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Ester-based synthetic lubricants are used in a variety of applications ranging from low-end, two-stroke oils in chain saws and automotive crankcase oils to high-end, high-performance oils in jet turbines and heavy duty truck transmissions. These materials offer a number of advantages over mineral (petroleum)-based oils, including excellent low temperature fluidity, very high viscosity index, and superior thermal, pressure, and oxidative stability. In North America, more than 17 million gallons of synthetic esters valued at more than $130 million are purchased and disposed of yearly. At present, no commercial technology is available to re-refine spent ester-based synthetic lubricants into virgin quality basestocks. Media and Process Technology, Inc., has demonstrated that these materials can be re-refined using proprietary technology based upon a modified version of their mineral re-refining LubriClear Process. Process feasibility has been demonstrated in recent bench treatability tests. Recycled lubricant with near virgin quality specifications has been produced. In the Phase I effort, bench tests will be scaled up to the pilot level to conduct various optimization and long-term performance tests. Additionally, larger volumes of finished product will be produced for finished product blending and performance testing by various lubricant packagers.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, recycling, engineering., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Hazardous Waste, Chemistry and Materials Science, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, cleaner production, recycled lubricants, recycled lubricant, spent ester-based synthetic lubricant, pollution prevention, ester-based synthetic lubricants

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Re-Refining of Spent Ester-Based Synthetic Lubricants