Handling and Disposal of Lubricant and Used Oil Collection and Management

Stringent regulations govern the handling, management, and application of lubricants when they are deposited at a facility. Correct used oil collection and handling practices do not end when the oil is placed in service. Once the oil surpasses its lifespan you should make sure that the used oil is disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

Used Oil is Considered Non-hazardous

While used oil is considered risk free, you should handle it with care if a dangerous substance has contaminated it. This process included a set of different protocols. Exercise caution when handling used, or new oils to prevent possible risks associated with these oils. Remember, some oils can cause skin diseases, while others are toxic.

Be extra careful when handling these fluids in a used oil collection facility. Do not expose your hands to used oils for a long time. If you have sores or even cuts in your hands, consider wearing gloves. This process will help you ensure that the fluid is not introduced in your bloodstream.


As the industry becomes more environmentally friendly, there have been major strides in the lubricant management and disposal sector. Today, lubricants are being developed to meet all environmental rules.

Lubricant biodegradability is tested and highlighted when choosing lubricants for specific environments. For instance, the tools used in open-pit mining is large. It can be a used oil collection center for hydraulic, engine, and gear oil and fuel.

It is critical to ensure that these oils are safe enough for the environment in case of a leak. This is where eco-friendly and biodegradable lubricants become necessary.

A lubricant’s biodegradability is considered as its capability to convert water and carbon dioxide through naturally forming micro-organisms. There are numerous tests to determine a lubricant’s biodegradability like the primary biodegradability test.

In this test, sewage water is used to contaminate the test oil. The oil is then left at 77 degrees Fahrenheit for 21 days, after which the mixture is evaluated. The oil can oil pass the test of 20% of the initial oil remains unblemished.

Instructions for Spill Protection and Bulk Storage

Federal Regulations’ guideline code on overfill protection instruments states that storage tanks must:

  • Shut off the flow of supply automatically once the tank becomes 95% full
  • Signal the operator when the storage tank is up to 90% full
  • Reduce the flow thirty minutes before overfilling occurs and signal the operator using a high-level buzzer a minute before overfilling

You can compare the ultimate biodegradability test to the primary test. In this test, the oil is polluted with micro-organisms and left at 72 degrees Fahrenheit for 28 days. The amount of carbon dioxide generated is determined and measured against a principle. The test oil can only pass this test if 70% of the original oil has degraded by the end of the 28 days.

The recently developed CEC-L-103-12 biodegradability test method calculates the loss of oil-soluble metabolites and oil within 21 days in an aqueous environment. When comparing eco-friendly lubricants, you must understand that the base oil used in the formulation process determines their biodegradability. Highly refined mineral oils, also known as Group III oils degrade better than their Group I counterparts.

Group IV lubricants, which are some of the most common synthetic oils score poorly when in terms of biodegradability. Diesters and polyesters, on the other hand, are some of the best when it comes to breaking them down naturally.

If you are searching for the best biodegradable oil, then natural esters or vegetable base oil is one of the best. Vegetable oils are fast becoming popular because they are eco-friendly and can match the performance aspects of their mineral equivalents.


With the industry becoming more eco-friendly there will be an emphasis on used oil reclamation and disposal in the future. Assessing your current processes and adopting some of the ideas we have discussed here you will help your business scale. You will also reap the main benefits of used oil collection management with an appropriate practice mentality.

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