Now that President Bush has called for new ways for Americans to reduce their addiction to oil, the findings suggest that companies could be doing more to reduce winter heating bills. Although three quarters of the respondents said that their companies skim oil from their wastewater, only eight percent said that their plants already burn waste oil for heat.
Using an oil skimmer, companies can collect up to 40 gallons per hour of oil or grease from wastewater. When combined with an oil concentrator, the amount of water in the oil can be reduced to less than one percent in most cases, making the oil suitable for burning in a waste oil furnace or boiler.
Abanaki sent the email survey in January, 2006 to plant and maintenance managers at manufacturing plants, machine shops and other industrial facilities. The findings are based on 119 completed surveys.
"Plant managers should not let the money hidden in their wastewater go to waste," said Abanaki president Tom Hobson. "Oil skimming cost effectively reclaims oil from wastewater, and as heating bills climb, they can save energy costs by burning it or selling it to a recycler."
In addition, the survey uncovered a widely held misperception: 70 percent of respondents thought EPA regulations for plants burning their own used oil were more stringent than regulations for waste oil disposal. In fact, the regulations are more relaxed. The EPA supports the burning of used oil on site, because it prevents oil from entering the watershed and eliminates the risk of spills during transportation.
Because it usually has a thicker viscosity, used oil possesses more energy than #2 fuel oil and more than twice the energy value of LP gas or coal. Waste oils that can be burned for heat include almost any oil up to 50 S.A.E.: metal cutting oils, lube oil, crankcase oil, transmission and hydraulic fluid, #1 and #2 diesel fuel, vegetable oils and grease.
SOURCE: Abanaki Corporation