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Re-refining Used Lubricating Oils


The American Carbon Registry (ACR) has open for public comment a Methodology for the Quantification, Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions from Re-refining Used Lubricating Oils. The Methodology was developed by Safety-Kleen Kleen Performance Products and Xpansiv Data Systems.

Lubricating oils are used to minimize friction and wear between mechanical parts in contact with each other and are essential to a wide variety of automotive, industrial, and marine applications. The lifecycle of lubricating oils is associated with environmental impacts including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The manufacture of lubricating oil is the most energy-intensive process in a crude oil refinery, and used lubricating oils are often burned in industrial or commercial boilers, releasing multiple pollutants including carbon dioxide. 

An alternative option exists for used lubricating oil: collection and re-refining. Used oil management programs have been developed throughout North America in order to reduce the amount of improperly disposed used oil and to encourage the recycle and reuse of used oil. Lubricating oil must be taken out of service when it no longer performs to expected specifications. This occurs when additive packages become depleted and the lubricant becomes contaminated. The base oil portion of the lubricant, however, does not break down during use.  As a result, used engine oil and other lubricating oils can be re-refined to remove water, contaminants and additives to produce base oil of the same quality as the virgin base oil.  Lubricants formulated using re-refined base oils in turn can meet the same performance standards as those using virgin base stocks.

The purpose of the Methodology is to quantify GHG emission reductions associated with the re-refining of used lubricating oils. Re-refining used lubricating oils avoids GHG emissions associated with the combustion and improper disposal of used oil at end of life. This Methodology provides the quantification and accounting frameworks, including eligibility and monitoring requirements, for the creation of carbon offset credits from the reductions in GHG emissions resulting from the re-refining of used lubricating oils.

Please submit comments by January 12, 2018 to .

Process Documentation

2. GHG emission reductions from industrial processes
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