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Oil filter recycling: Is it possible? How the oil filter works and how often it should be changed?

Engine oil is a substance without which it is impossible to imagine a car, a lot of agricultural and industrial equipment. However, the benefits of this substance are exactly proportional to the damage it causes to the environment. During operation, engine oil is contaminated and enriched with many harmful chemicals. So if it gets into the environment in any way, it:

  • poisons groundwater, thus causing global damage to the earth’s freshwater reserves (just a litre of spilled oil can poison a million litres of water);
  • if used oil is burned during disposal, toxic substances are released into the atmosphere.

In addition, a by-product of used oil is the special filters that clean it, which are also harmful to the environment.

Oil filters: why is it important to use them correctly?

The car engine, like the environment, does not tolerate contact with contaminated oil. In order to protect the car, a way was invented to clean it. We are talking about an oil filter. This thing has an extremely simple design, but it can extend the life of the power unit three or more times. How? All this is possible due to the uninterrupted supply of oil cleaned from sawdust, dirt, metal and other particles to the engine. In addition, this filter also removes various soot and chips from the engine itself. That is why it is advised to change it with every oil change.

What would happen if everyone just threw the oil filter into the landfill?

So, let’s start with the fact that the oil in a car is changed at least once a year. That is, just imagine the volumes of this rubbish! A bit of statistics:

  • 500 million tonnes of these car filters are produced every year.
  • Let’s assume that exactly 50 per cent of this weight is recycled and the rest ends up in landfills. What would we have? 75,000 tonnes of scrap steel, 9 million gallons of dirty oil, 1.5 trillion BTUs of energy for that year. And we’re not even talking about heavier vehicles, businesses, and more.

At the recycling points of this unit, it is shredded and heated to separate the oil and then cleaned. The filter itself is then shredded again and these shavings are scrapped. Thus, by choosing to recycle, one is choosing life for themselves and future generations.

An innovative approach to oil filters

We’re talking about replacement oil filters. It sounds very strange, doesn’t it? After all, motorists are used to the fact that the filter is, one way or another, a consumable item. And here manufacturers declare that they are no longer “disposable”. Such filters are made of synthetic filter material, which has a positive effect in several directions at once: increased water content in engine oil when using alternative fuels practically does not affect the pressure drop in new replacement oil filters, because unlike traditional filter materials they do not swell and do not soften. Pressure losses are reduced by approximately 50 per cent and are thus much lower than with conventional filters. Thus, in addition to standard recycling, many alternative approaches to this issue are emerging.

Resources for writing an article:

Symptoms of oil filter failures –

Impact of oil spills and how to reduce it?

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