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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
    WTF are you talking about? How is MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) getting in the oil, you will most likely earn a Darwin award trying to distill MEK.
    There is no MEK in the waste oil, but there is a patented process for refining used waste oil by mixing 50/50 with MEK. After mixing it is allowed to sit and all the particles fall out of suspension leaving the oil clear again. Then the MEK is distilled off, recaptured, and used again. It was developed by an oil refining company, maybe they all use that process, maybe not, IDK. I saw a process that did the same thing, but I do not know what they used, and it was just a few drops added to a column of oil, not a 50/50 mix.

    I am fully aware of the dangers of distilling MEK, that is why I have no interest in exploring that option and investigating others.

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    monoethenolamine (MEA) is the flocculant for waste oil that came up on a quick goggle search.

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyanidekid View Post
    monoethenolamine (MEA) is the flocculant for waste oil that came up on a quick goggle search.
    Thanks! Maybe I used the wrong search terms? Chemist friend found the MEK solution, there is a printout with the web address somewhere in my unorganized files, but doubt I'll find it today. I'll look into MEA and see whether it is feasible or not.

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  6. #24
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    Only thing I found searching "monoethenolamine oil flocculant" was a process that also required use of solvents, which would probably have to be distilled off.

    But in that same search I found this patent Patent US335478 - Process for re-refining used lubricating oils - Google Patents , which assuming I can buy diethylenetriamine (DETA) without too many special licenses, sounds a whole lot easier to do.

  7. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kallam View Post
    When a shop disposes of there old coolant .What does the waste company do with it how is it treated and disposed of.
    Again, it depends, but often it is treated with an emulsion breaker (starch or alcohol based) and then the oil portion is recovered, the water is treated. Where I am now we have a discharge permit under CWT (centralized waste treatment) rules and we must treat the heavy metal and Fats, Oils, and Greases content to our discharge limits. Once it has been treated, the local POTW (publicly owned treatment works) has no trouble with it. There are some large manufacturers around here that perform their own separation and treatment, but there are a lot of permitting issues involved so it is often easiest and cheapest to just contract with the hauler, who contracts with a CWT somewhere. We receive coolants from all the big name pickup/hauling companies in the area, and we actually run our own fleet of vacuum tankers.

    Then again, for very small quantities, it may just be screened for metals content, pH, and flammability and solidified and sent to landfill.

  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    What is a good way to crack the emulsions of coolant? I've tried salt, with no sucess, and evaporating the water out of coolant prior to disposal in the local council 'waste oil' tank is expensive in my cool climate.
    Contact places like HOH, Watertech, Dober Chemical... they make specialty products that are targeted to the chemistry of the emulsion. We have a rough go because we see so many different types, but we've got a few broad spectrum hammers that work for just about every nail!

  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    OK, so - take the "business" out of that loop, and say that you have one in your personal "toy" shed at home. Now what? (You are likely not "personally" generating that much.)

    Either way - as long as you can buy them commercially, it would seem OK to use as long as your insurance company is OK with it. Likely the same rating as having a wood stove or a set of torches around...

    ???


    On to new business:

    I have a chum that has a few totes of old coolant around, and he has tried to crack it. I forget now what he was trying. I think it was something that I had read on here, but it wasn't working for him.

    You say that you are cracking it, would you care to disclose how?



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    In Wisconsin any farmer or homeowner could also handle their own used oil. See my answer above for companies that make emulsion crackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
    Acid and alum will do a better job if you want to split the emulsion, assuming you have an emulsion. I had a customer a number of years ago waste a lot of time and money trying to split a synthetic fluid.
    The only issue with acid is it generally makes treatment of the water a pain. The metals are all soluble at different pHs, and generally treatment for FOGs works best below pH7, but most metals precipitate best around pH8-11. Using Sodium Sulfide helps since the sulfide salts of most heavy metals are much less soluble over a much wider pH range than their hydroxyl salts (which is what a "normal" treatment yields).

    There are a ton of commercial specialty products out there, and I guarantee you once you buy some the sales guys won't ever leave you alone! Stuff isn't cheap, though. I think we pay around $15k for a few 275gal totes of the product we use the most often. Most shops would have a very low useage, though.

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    Jesus.....

    Simply burning the oil (either from crankcase, cutting oil,
    or cracked coolant) in an approved "designed for" heater
    is the PRACTICAL thing to do.

    Not running a meth lab operation in the back 40.

    I think PRACTICAL MACHINE SHOP OWNERS are busy enough
    as it is, and don't have the time to play CHEMIST.....

    Me thinks this thread needs to get moved to the "Harry Homeshop
    nighttime backyard chemist" forum page.

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    Anyone who generates a lot of used oil may find this thread interesting, I know I do. I have over 1000 gallons that I have accumulated and recently picked up an industrial duty oil separator centrifuge cheap at an auction. maybe Mr. Finsta or someone else can give me some pointers on what to do with them.

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    Can you turn waste oils into biodiesel the way you can with used fry oil from Taco Bell ?

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    I work with ultrafiltration. At my last job we built lots of ultrafiltration coolant oil recovery systems for Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, and Bosch to name a few. Oil molecules are too large to pass through the 0.03 micron pore size. We’d concentrate up the oil in a process tank until it all rises to the top and a floating skimmer removes it. The waste oil was sold while the water ussually met the requirements for discharge to sewer. At one point we sold small units that would process 50 gallon drums of coolants.

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  17. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbdjr59 View Post
    Anyone who generates a lot of used oil may find this thread interesting, I know I do. I have over 1000 gallons that I have accumulated and recently picked up an industrial duty oil separator centrifuge cheap at an auction. maybe Mr. Finsta or someone else can give me some pointers on what to do with them.
    On the (relatively) large scale we had limited success processing oil with a decanter and centrifuge. It was just too labor intensive to clean the 'fuge constantly for the basically non-existent increase in price of the re-refined oil product. Now it would be even worse with oil at half the price per barrel as when that system was set up. We moved facilities and didn't even bother to reinstall that setup. Emulsion breaking with specialty products (or acid cracking where those fail) followed by heating to drop the rag material out is what we've found the most economical for large scale. Keep in mind we process around 20-30k gallons per day of CNC coolant on a slow day so your mileage may vary!

    Keep in mind that may also have changed if the metals and halogen content of the oil made it "on-specification" for a burner. As it is, most of the used oil product we generate must be blended to specification by a licensed burner. We had looked at filling barges for sale to China or Brazil but we just didn't generate on the scale necessary. We've also looked at regeneratable (is that a word?) chromatography type setups, but again, not economical for the better looking oil that still must be blended to burn.

    I would tend to agree that a used oil burning stove in the shop is likely the best for small shops, but local laws may change that.

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  19. #34
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    I have to say I have little interest in doing the actual process myself...but quite interested in how it is done.

    Here I use the coolant till it losses its ummph then bring over to the band saw which really reduces the juice down till its into waste drum for pickup.

    Curious when you break it down...what are you left with? The oil, is it able to be refined into usable oil after? Or just burnt?

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    We have a few outlets and one is as a raw material for a product (used as some sort of clay binder I think). Nothing I can disclose, but yes there are folks buying re-refined oil as a raw material.

    As far as what we are left with... generally, we have the water that goes to treatment and sewer, the rag portion (floats between the water and oil) that gets characterized and sent to landfill (though theoretically if it were ever characteristically hazardous we'd need to handle it under RCRA Part C as such), the oil which gets sent for blending/burning or use as a raw material, and then the tank bottoms (sludge) which also gets characterized and landfilled (again, it has never been hazardous but could be, and must legally be characterized each time it is generated which is every time we clean the tanks). We have a solidification (stabilization) license and pit here, where we can blend this stuff with a binding agent (generally sawdust) before it goes to landfill. Most states do not allow free liquid oil to go to landfill so we need to make sure it is "100% solid" (passes paint filter test) before it goes on a dump trailer. The rag and sludge are more of a gray area than the liquid oil portion but we try to do the responsible thing and "don't be dicks."

    Hope that makes sense?

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    Back around [year] 2000 - I used to get bulk cutting oil that was s'posedly "re-refined" motor oil. Looked good to me. Dealer said that tests couldn't tell any difference, and if it actually went back through the refining stack, I don't see how it would be any different?

    Is R/O water considered "used" ???


    ---------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    "Re-refining" is the legal term for the processing of used oil to make it burnable or salable. It has nothing to do with actually being distilled again. I would say it is safe to assume there is an insignificant amount of used oil actually being redistilled. New oil is just too cheap again to make anything like that economical.

    Though I would also add that the wide array of potential oil formulations for commercial "oil" products mean that anything that is re-refined will never be analogous to raw crude distillation products. Or put more bluntly, "salesmen say a lot of things."

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    Oh.

    I ass_u_med that to use the term "Re-refined" meant that it went back up the stack.

    Well, either way, it's fine. It was $1 gallon I think back then for bulk shipments of around 500 gal.


    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post


    On to new business:

    I have a chum that has a few totes of old coolant around, and he has tried to crack it. I forget now what he was trying. I think it was something that I had read on here, but it wasn't working for him.



    ------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    I remember that thread, and from what I remember, the guy was cracking his used coolant with solar salt (ass-u-me-ing, it was the same thread your thinking? could be more than 1 on the topic?).

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    Trust me there are enough terms like that in the US Federal environmental laws and regulations, then add the several States...

    I'm hoping I can shed some light on some of that stuff here!


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