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Continued from page 24


Rerefining Quota Base Oil 2014


Recent Life Cycle Analysis GEIR published the latest study “Ecological and energetic assessment of re-refining waste oils to base oils: Substitution of primarily produced base oils including semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds,” June 2017, IFEU (Nabil Abdalla, Horst Fehrenbach).


The study provides an update of the Life Cycle Assessment study (LCA) of 2005 (IFEU, Fehrenbach) taking the most recent data, current state of technology/products and utilisation of waste oil into account.


2. The Impact Waste oil represents the largest quantity (2 million tons p.a.) of hazardous waste in Europe. It is treated to fuel (36%), regenerated (55%) or otherwise used (9%).


The introduction of the waste hierarchy in 2008, its inadequate implementation across the Member States along with insufficient reporting and auditing has not achieved a common purpose.


Without new initiatives to improve waste management in the EU, significant amounts of valuable resources will continue to be lost in the coming years. Without a clear midterm perspective, including through the setting of targets (85% of collected waste oil directed to regeneration), the EU risks maintaining only the regeneration quota of 55% that has already been achieved in 2014. Furthermore, there might be inappropriate investments in fuel treatment projects facing a lack of “real technology” such as hydrogenation or solvent extraction to remove hazardous components. Thus, the further development of regeneration (technologies and quantities) would be constrained as the only raw material of the regeneration industry is waste oil.


However, the disposal routes of waste oil remain highly controversial within the European Union.


The most relevant reason for the difference versus the study of 2005 lies in the change concerning alternative utilisation. Then, a relevant share of waste oil was used as fuel in cement works – and cement works predominantly use diverse types of coal as standard fuel and different kinds of waste. Today, the cement work option is just of marginal relevance (3%) regarding the European practice of waste oil utilisation. Logically, the reference system has been adapted to the actual relevant one, which is treatment to fuel oil vs. regeneration to base oils.


To resolve these issues, EU authorities are currently subjecting the existing Waste Framework Directive to a revision process focusing especially on the following criteria: sustainability, environmental benefits, circular economy and targets. GEIR has been involved in intense discussions with numerous stakeholders such as Member States, European Parliament, European Commission as well as company representatives, associations and NGOs. In the course of these discussions, GEIR came to the conclusion that collection and regeneration quotas have to be increased in Europe and that an 85% regeneration target would be the most favourable solution.


26 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.141 OCTOBER 2017


IFEU 2017 Study Quote: “In summary, we found that the regeneration of waste oil for the recovery of base oils is considerably advantageous, especially in terms of resource depletion and relief from environmental burdens. This study underlines the results of 2005 and enhances the previous conclusions, stating, that an advanced regeneration technology shall be the favoured way to keep waste oil as long as possible as high-graded material within the circular economy. In brief: this LCA supports the higher ranking of regeneration versus energy recovery according to the waste hierarchy required by EU policies.”


The study is available at: http://www.geir-rerefining.org/GEIR_documents.php


Continued on page 28


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