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Composition-Explicit Distillation Curves of Waste Lubricant Oils and Resourced Crude Oil: A Diagnostic for Re-Refining and Evaluation



Lisa S. Ott, Beverly L. Smith, Thomas J. Bruno


We have recently introduced several important improvements in the measurement of distillation curves for complex fluids. The modifications include a composition explicit data channel for each distillate fraction and temperature measurements that are true thermodynamic state points that can be modeled with an equation of state. The composition-explicit information is achieved with a sampling approach that allows precise qualitative as well as quantitative analyses of each fraction, on the fly. We have applied the methos (called the advanced distillation curve) to a variety of fluids, including simple n-alkanes, rocket propellants, gasoline, jet fuels, diesel and biodiesel fuels, and crude oils (both petroleum- and bio-derived crude oils). In this paper, we present the application of the method to new, recycled, and resourced heavy oils. First, we present measurements on four unused automotive crankcase oils, and then four samples of used oils: automotive oil, cutting oil, transformer oil, and a commingled lubricant waste stream. Using the advanced distillation curve metrology, we can distinguish between the different weights (viscosity ranges) of crankcase oil and compare them to the sample of used crankcase oil. The distillation curves also provide valuable information regarding the presence or absence of low-boiling contaminants in the recycled automotive oil, such as water and gasoline. Additionally, we demonstrate the evaluation of all four used lubricant oils. Then, we apply the advanced distillation curve method to a sample of crude oil prepared using a plastic waste stream from an automotive plant. Overall, we conclude that that the composition-explicit advanced distillation curve metrology is essential for rationalizing the boiling behavior of the various oils streams and is a valuable diagnostic for future re-refining of the used lubricant oils.
American Journal of Environmental Sciences


automotive oil, distillate composition, distillation curve, re-refining, used lubricant oil


Ott, L. , Smith, B. and Bruno, T. (2011), Composition-Explicit Distillation Curves of Waste Lubricant Oils and Resourced Crude Oil: A Diagnostic for Re-Refining and Evaluation, American Journal of Environmental Sciences (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created April 3, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021