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(Concept, Legislation, Base Map)


– Summary



– Waste Oil Management In Europe

– Waste Oil Management In Turkey

– Re-Refining Of Waste Oil



The usage of mineral and synthetic oils has an extremely wide application area, including almost all industrial activities, every single motor vehicles and even power transmission. And of course, after usage all of these materials, significant amount of the oil becomes waste.

This waste group is hazardous. It has negative effects on the environment and human healt.

Waste oil has also a very important economic provisions. Therefore, proper management of it is very important.

Recycling of waste oil is very possible process. Fairly comprehensive studies on this issue was made and these works are ongoing.

This report is addressed to situation of the wast oil management and regeneration facilities in the EU and Turkey.


Regulations in EU

According to Germany Federal Ministry For The Environment, Nature Conservation, Building And Nuclear Safey’s Waste Oil Ordinance, oils for machines, engines, turbines, etc. may only be sold to the end user if their packaging bears a stamp or label that states the oil is to be taken to a waste oil collection point after use. If sellers of lubricating oils are unable to set up a collection point of their own for waste oil (e.g. department stores, hypermarkets, retail stores), they must enter into arrangements with third parties at their own expense in order to ensure there is a collection point in the vicinity. This ordinance contains the following definitions:

Waste oils: Oils that are accumulated as waste and consist of mineral oil, synthetic oil or biogenic oil completely or in part.

Base oils: Non-doped base oils fot the production of high quality lubricant products such as engine oils, gear oils, turbine oils and lubricating greases.

Reprocessing: Any method by which baze oils are produced from waste oils by applying refinery processes and by which, in particular, contaminants, oxidation products and additives contained in these oils are removed.

In European Waste Directive these definitions also are made in similar ways. Waste Framework Directive Article 21 is about ‘waste oils’ and which is as follows:

1- Without prejudice to the obligations related to the management of hazardous waste laid

down in Articles 18 and 19, Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that:

(a) waste oils are collected separately, where this is technically feasible;

(b) waste oils are treated in accordance with Articles 4 and 13;

(c) where this is technically feasible and economically viable, waste oils of different characteristics are not mixed and waste oils are not mixed with other kinds of waste or substances, if such mixing impedes their treatment.

2- For the purposes of separate collection of waste oils and their proper treatment, Member States may, according to their national conditions, apply additional measures such as technical requirements, producer responsibility, economic instruments or voluntary agreements.

3- If waste oils, according to national legislation, are subject to requirements of regeneration, Member States may prescribe that such waste oils shall be regenerated if technically feasible and, where Articles 11 or 12 of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 apply, restrict the transboundary shipment of waste oils from their territory to incineration or co-incineration facilities in order to give priority to the regeneration of waste oils.”

As shown, EU sets out a general approach to the issue of waste oils. However, Member States may have specific differences and it might be acceptable. As a result, the general approach adopted is the recycling of waste oils.

Disposal Of Waste Oil Directive (75/439/EEC) has been revised several times until 1975 today. The Directive aims to prevent the uncontrolled disposal of waste oil and the ensuing environmental problems. The Directive also seeks to prevent the waste of resources by encouraging regeneration rather than burning of waste oils. It seeks to ensure that financial arrangements adopted to promote safe disposal and recycling do not create barriers to the common market, and to prevent uncontrolled burning of waste oil as fuel.

The table below, shows the course of development the relevant legislation:

75/439/EEC (OJ L194 25.7.1975) Directive on the disposal of waste oils
Proposed 20.3.1974 – COM(74)334
Legal base Articles 115 and 352 TFEU (originally Articles 100 and 235 EEC Treaty)
Amended by
87/101/EEC (OJ L42 12.2.1987) Amending Directive
Proposed 24.1.1985 – COM(85)757
Legal base Articles 122 and 268 TFEU (originally Articles 100 and 235 TEC)
91/692/EEC (OJ L377 31.12.1991) Directive standardizing and rationalizing reports on the implementation of certain Directives relating to the environment
Legal base Article 150 TFEU (originally Article 130s TEC)
2000/76/EC (OJ L332 28.12.2000) Directive on the incineration of waste
Legal base Article 192/150 TFEU (originally Article 175/Article 130s TEC); Article 294/Article 14 TFEU (originally Article 251/Article 189b TEC)
To be repealed by With effect from 12 December 2010
2008/98/EC (OJ L312 22.11.2008) Directive on waste and repealing certain Directives
Legal base Article 192/Article 294 TFEU (originally Article 175(1)/Article 251 TEC)
Binding dates
Notification date 18 June 1975
Formal compliance 18 June 1977
Final date for permits 18 June 1979
Situation reports 18 June 1980 and subsequently every three years
Notification date 13 January 1987
Formal compliance 1 January 1990
Notification date 23 December 1991
Entry into force 23 December 1991
Transposition – Articles 2 and 3 1 January 1993
Transposition – Article 4 1 January 1994
Transposition – Article 5 1 January 1995
Entry into force 28 December 2000
Commission to report on progress 31 December 2008


The basic principles of the directive is as follows:

The definition of ‘waste oils’ is not restricted to lubricating oils, but by including the words ‘used oils’ it excludes wastes from oil refineries, for example. A general duty is placed on Member States to ensure that the collection and disposal of waste oils causes no avoidable damage to man and the environment. Member States are required to give priority to regeneration (producing base oils) ‘where technical, economic and organizational constraints so allow’. Burning of waste oils which cannot be regenerated is to be carried out under environmentally acceptable conditions as set out in the Directive with the proviso that it is technically, economically and organizationally feasible. Discharge of waste oils to any water and drainage systems is strictly prohibited. Collection, storage and processing of waste oil are subject to special permissions. Waste oils containing hazardous materials (PCB, PCT etc.) must be disposed.

The following are also prohibited:

– Any deposit and/or discharge harmful to the soil;

– Any uncontrolled discharge of residues from processing;

– Any processing of waste oils causing air pollution which exceeds the level prescribed by existing provisions.

The ‘polluter pays principle’ is to apply.

Member States are required, where necessary to achieve the objectives of the Directive, to carry out public information and promotional campaigns to ensure that waste oils are stored appropriately and collected as far as possible.

Any undertaking disposing of waste oil must obtain a permit from the competent authority. The permit may be subject to conditions. The undertakings must supply certain information to the competent authority on request and must be periodically inspected. Any undertaking collecting waste oils must be registered and adequately supervised; a system of permits may be required. Undertakings regenerating or burning waste oils may be granted a permit only when the competent authority is satisfied that all appropriate preventive measures have been taken. In the case of regeneration plants, Member States are required to ensure that their operation will cause no avoidable damage to the environment by requiring that the risks from residues are reduced to the minimum and that such residues are disposed of as required by the toxic wastes Directive.

As one of the Member States, Germany brought into force Directive to Promote Processing of Waste Oil into Base Oil in 1 October 2001. This directive, with reference 75/439/EEC, aims to ensure sustainable management of mineral oil products, in the light of the limited availability of fossil resources, as well as for reasons of environmental protection. To achieve this goal, the directive emphasizes necessity to define the best method for processing waste oil into base oil and economic incentive for it.

According to Directive of 1 October 2001, the base oil must be produced by using refinery processes that ensure in particular the removal of any contaminants, oxidation products and additives.

Funding of the plants processing waste oil into base oil takes the form of project funding through non-refundable indemnities to compensate for any losses suffered during the process of producing base oil from waste oil.

Regulations in TURKEY

Management of waste oils in Turkey, provided by Regulation of The Waste Oils Control. According to Regulation minimisation of waste oils at source, regeneration and refining of waste oils primarily for recovery purposes are expressed. Waste oils with the non-recovery property or which do not provide the required product quality after recovery processes can be used as additional fuel for the purpose of energy recovery.

Collection and processing of waste oils required special permissions. Waste oils only be processed at licensed facilities.

The ‘polluter pays principle’ is to apply, according to this regulation, too.

Imports of waste oil is prohibited.

Waste oils only be carried by licensed companies and utilities.

Except the Ministry Of Environment And Urbanisation, Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) is another institution that permission required. Facilities should provide the conditions laid down by Turkish Standards Institution (TSE).

PETDER is the only authorized institution on collection of waste engine oils.



This report does not focus on a “good application”. But, it will be try to give information about some application in Europe, Turkey and some other countries.

Waste Oil Management In Europe

– About 4930000 tones of base oils were consumed in Europe in 2000, among which about 65% of automotive oils and less than 35% of industrial oils. About 50% of consumed oils are lost during use. The remaining 50% represent the collectable as waste.

– Engine oils represent more than 70% of 2400000 tonnes of the collectable waste oil. Black industrial oils about 5% and light industrial oils less than 25%. Engine oils (and to a lower extent black industrial oils) are potentially suitable for regeneration, whereas light industrial oils, clean, join an independent recovery circuit.

– The average waste oil collection rate reached about 70-75% in the EU in 2000. Approximately 1730000 tonnes of waste oil were collected. The remaining 675000 tonnes are accounted as illegally burnt or dumped in the environment. It still vary from country to country. The efficiency of the waste oil collection systems is often very high for engine oils (80%) and low for black industrial oils.

Waste oil collection rate, in 2000.

A lot of treatment processes exist (or are under development) today in Europe. The most significant ones are listed below.


Clean waste oil RE-USE Hydrauling or cutting oil

– electricity companies

– shipping industry

– major engineering companies

Mould oil or base oil

Engine waste oil REGENERATION or RE-REFINING Lubricant base oil
All types of waste oils (including synthetic oils) THERMAL CRACKING Distillate gas oil products
Mixed wastes GASIFICATION Synthetic gas

– hydrogen

– methanol

All types of waste oils, especially heavy polluted ones. SEVERE RE-PROCESSING De- metallised fuel oil

– marine diesel oil

– fuel oil

MILD RE-PROCESSING then burning Replacement fuel oil

– road stone plants etc.


In September 1995, a conference was held in the Swiss city of Geneva. In this conference; a technical declaration was published about transportation, processing and disposal issues of waste oil. This conference known as Basel Convention. And In the convention, it has been classified the method relates to the treatment of waste oils.

In this declaration, used mineral and synthetic oils, the tank waste, oil-water mixtures and emulsions are defined as waste oils, which is our subject.

The EU consumed in 2006 roughly 5.8 million tonnes a year. However, through their use, they loose their properties, become contaminated and at some point they cease to be fit for the use they were originally intended. These used oils are then replaced by fresh lubricating oils and we are left with some waste oils. Some 50% of what is purchased will become waste oils. That leaves us with approximately 3 million tonnes of waste oil to manage every year in the EU.


Waste Oil Management In Turkey

In Turkey, waste oils, are classified according to the pollutant rates. Annex – 1 of the Regulation On Waste Oil Control shows us the classification of waste oils below:

Pollutants Allowable level

1st. Category waste oil

Allowable level

2nd Category waste oil

Allowable level

3rd Category waste oil

Arsenic < 5 ppm Max. 5 ppm > 5 ppm
Cadmium < 2 ppm Max. 2 ppm > 2 ppm
Chromium < 10 ppm Max. 10 ppm > 10 ppm
Chloride Max. 200 ppm Max. 2000 ppm > 2000 ppm
Lead < 100 ppm Max. 100 ppm > 100 ppm
Total halogens Max. 200 ppm Max. 2000 ppm > 2000 ppm
PCB Max. 10 ppm Max. 50 ppm > 50 ppm
Flash point Min. 38 C Min. 38 C

In current practice, waste oil management activities and the legislation can not be ruled complete harmony, because of analyze costs and lack of control issues.

Amount of Mineral Oil consumed in Turkey in 2010 and 2011 (thousand ton/year) below:

Being the case, according to the report of the state, in 2010, approximately 44.000 tonnes of waste oil officially collected it seems. If we assume that generate waste oil amount is 50% of oil consumption; it should be about 207 thousand tons of waste oil, must be formed. This means there is about 160-170 thousand tons waste oil which non-reported. That non-reported waste oils probably used as uncontrolled, illegal fuel. This causes the environmental impact and economic losses.

In Turkey; industrial oil ratio of per capita is 18 liters; In Germany this ratio is 12. 437033 tonnes of lubricants are consumed in Turkey in a year, and 221607 tonnes of waste oil is formed of it. But only 42000 tonnes waste oil is processed at the recycling facility. Unregistered 200000 tons of waste oil causes large tax losses and great damage to human health and the environment.

Yearly Amounts of Waste Mineral Oils Collected by PETDER (ton) below:

Re-Refining Of Waste Oil

Definitons of recycling, reprocessing, recclamation and regeneration are defined separately in Basel Declaration. According to declaration; recycling is the commonly used generic term for the reprocessing, reclaiming and regeneration (re-refining) of used oils by use of an appropriate selection of physical and chemical methods of treatment. Reprocessing usually involves treatment to remove insoluble contaminants and oxidation products from used oils by heating, settling, filtering, dehydrating and centrifuging, etc. Depending on the quality of the resultant material this can be followed by blending with base oils and additives to bring the oil back to its original or an equivalent specification. Reprocessed oil is generally returned to its original use. And the Regeneration is involves the production of base oils from used oils as a result of processes which remove contaminants, oxidation products and additives i.e. re-refining involving the production of base oils for the manufacture of lubricating products.

Reprocessing and Regeneration

These processes are used to eliminate contaminants in the oil and ensure to re-use it. The table below is very useful for understanding the reprocessing methods

Distillation / Hydro Evaluation Item Acid / Clay Clay Distillation / Treating
1. Lube yieldª Low Medium Medium
2. Bright stocksb Recovered Lost
3. Utilitiesc Low Low
4. Overall energyd High Low Medium
5. Hazardous Chemicalse Sulphuric Acid Caustic Caustic
Waste Streams
6. Acid sludge Most None None
7. Oily Clay Most Some Some
8. Caustic sludge or spent caustic None Some Some
9. Process water Low Medium High

a- Lube yield: The oil yield in the acid/clay process is low because of losses to the acid sludge, some degree of sulphonation taking place. The two distillation processes do not recover bright stocks and this is reflected in their moderate lube oil recovery.

b- Bright stocks: Bright stocks are recovered only in the acid/clay process. This process would be favoured in the unusual situation where used oils contain extremely high proportions of bright stocks.

c- Utilities: ‘Utilities’ refers to the total external energy requirement (power plus fuel).

d- Overall energy: This is total external energy (utilities) plus potential energy lost in non-recovered oils.

e- Hazardous chemicals: In the acid/clay process, the operators are exposed to the risk of handling concentrated sulphuric acid and the resulting acid sludge. All three processes expose the operators to possible chemical burns.

On Waste Oil Recycling and Disposal Methods:

As the UNEP Report noted, basicly there are two alternatives for the destruction/disposition of wast oils. And they are, re-refining to produce lubricating baze oils and burning it as a fuel. Many problems are likely in both options because of the presence of high amounts of metal and organo metalic compounds in waste oil, originating from lube oil additives. The air pollution that may result from such burning is both socially unacceptable and hazardous to human health. For these reason, legislation in many countries prohibits the combustion of waste oil.

In the same text describes applied technologies for the recycling of waste oil.

The principle of recycling waste oils utilies many of the following basic steps:

– Removal of water and solid particles by settling

– Sulphuric acid treatment to remove gums, greases, etc.

– Alkaline treatment to neutralise acid

– Water washing to remove “soap”

– Stripping to drive off moisture and volatile oils; vacuum distillation and/or solvent extraction

– Clay contacting to bleach the oil and absorb impurities

– Filtering to remove clay anf other solids

– Hydrogenation to improve colour

– Blending to specification

General schematic of the waste oil recycling process

Technologies need to be defined is listed below:

Acid-Clay Re-refining technology: This is an ancient and once popular process. High amount of sulfuric acid and clay are used. It produces a high proportion of residual waste.

Vacuum Distillation / Evaporation technology: Pre-treated waste oils are distilled to seperate off water and light hydrocarbons. The resulting water is treated and sent to a wastewater treating facility. The water-free oil then undergoes high vacuum distillation using a conventional vacuum column or in a thin film evaporator for seperation of diesel fuel. Materials such as residues, metals, additive degradation products etc. are passed on to a heavy asphalt flux stream.

Hydrogen Based Vacuum Refination technology: The distillate is hydrotreated at high temperature and pressure in the presence of catalyst to remove nitrogen, sulphur, chlorine and oxygenated organic components. The used catalyst from the hydrotreating process is disposed off-site.

Thermal Cracking Technology:Thermal cracking is an old cracking process. It has left the place in recent years to catalytic cracking processes.

Some specific technologies:

There are also specific processes developed by various companies:

KTI Process: The KTI Process is also known as KTI Relube Technology. Basic steps of the process are atmospheric distillation, vacuum distillation, hydrogenetion and fractionation. This technology accepts PCBs and other hazardous materials and gives an efficiency of 82%.

Safety-Kleen Technology: The Safety Kleen Process combines wiped-film vacuum distillation and fix-bed catalytic hydrotreatment.

HyLube Process: The HyLube Process is a proprietary process developed by the world-famous company UOP for the catalytic processing of used lubricating oils into re-refined lube base-stocks for reblending into saleable lube oils.

Generalization Of Correct Management Of Waste Oil

The management of waste oil is quite difficult due to its production in almost every industry working with machinery all around the world, that it is flammable and convertible to energy, that it is rather expensive as a raw material and social circumstances.

A well-defined legislation is a prerequisite for a perfect waste oil management. The sufficiency of waste oil recycling facilities must be explained well.

The authorities should be effectively auditing the facilities. The production of waste oil of industries should be correctly determined and the industries should be incited to collect waste oil conveniently. Common waste oil points should be built in organized industrial zones and the managers of these zones should determine the participants’ waste oil productions. Collecting points should be formed in bus stations, repair shops etc.

It is vital to assess social circumstances. Unauthorized collectors should be prevented. Since waste oil may be considered as a valuable end product, it attracts unofficial processors and this should be strictly avoided.

Lastly, it is essential not to ignore raising awareness and education about waste oil management.

Some inspiring information

  • One liter of waste oil is equivalent to 0,63 liter of greasing oil (compared economically)
  • 1 gallon of waste oil pollutes 1 million gallons of clean water, which is the need of 50 people for one year.
  • Oil is used in a great extent in everyday life. It is unfortunate to know that it goes to waste in vehicles etc. waste oil is harvested from a limited resource that is fossil fuels and it may also be also animal or plant based. Recycling reduces environmental effects as well as economical contribution.
  • The energy used for recycling is 1/3rd of the energy used for refining raw oil.
  • 1 liter of waste oil is 9300 kcal in terms of energy. More importantly, recycling prevents raw oil resource consumption.


We have referred to what waste oil is, how it should be handled and the importance of this action, some ways of approach, methods and technologies of waste oil management.

Waste oil should be collected and classified avoiding contamination of other wastes and materials, transported under registration without any spilling, stored safely; and starting from government level to all society, the optimum methods of recycling which have efficiency and positive environmental effects known as good management applications should be adopted and followed by authorities in details.

Convenient waste oil management is important because;

Environmentally; the sustainability of resource usage, to protect air-water-soil integrity and life,

Socially; the employment opportunities (logistics operations, technical support, labor etc.), economical income and how it supports secondary economies such as machinery, construction, equipment.

Although the legislation is valid, there are many stakeholders and there is a working sector in this area and the technological accumulation is sufficient in our country, there is still unofficial and off-the-record activity in a great extent.

TSE standards have taken different courses in short periods of time in recycling recently. This shows us that official authorities still work and debate on how to approach this issue and facility standards and that they still need time to settle. It is crucial that these problems should be solved as soon as possible and the good applications and ways of approach we have explained in this report should be adopted in order to raise the awareness of waste producers and processors and avoid off-the-record activity.