Suppliers to the automotive industry continue to innovate in the area of recycled products as more automakers place bets that demand for fuel-efficient and eco-friendly cars will rapidly rise when the global economy recovers. The latest products include Teijin Fibers Limited’s chemically recycled polyester for tire cords, and Safety-Kleen’s recycled motor oil for consumers.
Teijin’s chemically recycled polyester, called ECO CIRCLE FIBERS, is being used in the cords of Toyo Tire & Rubber’s PROXES Ne tires, which Toyo Tire Europe GmbH introduced to the European market in April 2009. Toyo Tire & Rubber launched PROXES Ne in Japan last December, as special tires designed for eco-friendly passenger cars.
Touted as the world’s first recycled polyester adopted for tire cords, the ECO CIRCLE FIBERS are created through a closed-loop recycling system called ECO CIRCLE, which claims to be the world’s first chemical recycling technology, developed by Teijin Fibers.
Safety-Kleen is now offering re-refined oil to consumers under the brand name EcoPower through retailers and distributors. The Plano, Texas-based company has produced high-quality motor oils for large commercial fleets and the federal government by re-refining used oil the company collects at thousands of car dealerships, automotive retailers and quick lube facilities across North America.
In 2008, Safety-Kleen collected more than 225 million gallons of used oil and recycled approximately 140 million of it into base oil products for re-use. The re-refined oil meets or exceeds all applicable specifications set by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Society of Automotive Engineers.
EcoPower motor oil is now available in 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30 and 15W-40
viscosity grades. All U.S. car manufacturers have approved the use of Safety-Kleen SAE 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 ILSAC-certified motor oil in all their cars, said the company.
Safety-Kleen said that recycling used motor oil not only conserves a natural resource, but also protects surface waters and groundwater supplies against potential contamination from improperly disposed used oil. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recovering the motor oil from one oil change of a typical automobile protects a million gallons of drinking water, estimated at a year’s supply for 5,479 people.
Re-refining also saves energy, said the company, and avoids the emission of more than 300,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each when compared to refining from crude and burning used oil for energy. It takes up to 85 percent less energy to produce a gallon of re-refined oil from used oil than to produce that same oil from a gallon of crude, according to the company.