Oil Recycling Services
What the Judges Said…
“Great example of a circular economy application. A one-stop-shop for oil recycling across a significant territory that has positive impact metrics as well.”
Terrapure is a Canadian environmental services provider that serves customers in a wide range of industries, including petrochemical and refineries. The company provides advanced oil recycling services for industrial business sectors across the country.
The company’s fleet of tanker trucks and storage tanks in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan collect 36 million liters of used oil feedstock for its North Vancouver re-refinery. This used oil is tested to ensure suitability for re-refining before it is processed through stages of dehydration, defueling, vacuum distillation, and hydro treating. Once the final recycled base oil has been recovered and passed through quality assurance, it is either sold as base oil or blended with technologically advanced additives to produce a range of engine and industrial oils.
Re-refining is widely recognized as the best option for managing and recycling used oil, Terrapure says. It produces a new recycled product from what may otherwise be treated as waste. Every liter of re-refined oil is a liter that does not have to be extracted from the ground and refined from non-renewable crude. In addition, the same businesses that provide used oil to Terrapure for recycling often use recycled lubricants produced in North Vancouver. This effectively closes the environmental loop of used oil.
Each year, hundreds of millions of liters of used oil are generated in Canada. In the past, much of that oil would be disposed. Terrapure says that capturing and re-refining used oil eliminates the risk of the oil getting into the natural environment and harming it. One liter of used oil is enough to contaminate one million liters of water — an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The carbon footprint of re-refined oil is significantly smaller than lubricating oil produced from virgin crude. A life cycle assessment conducted for the Terrapure North Vancouver Facility in 2010 by EBA Engineering Consultants determined that GHG emissions from its production of recycled lubricating oils were approximately 44,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent less annually than if the same volume were produced through refining virgin crude oil. It also produces approximately 94,000 metric tons of CO2e less than if the used oil is burned for heat value.
One Terrapure customer is a pioneering quick-lube business franchise that has become one of the largest automotive service providers in Canada. Terrapure assessed the challenges and developed custom schedules to service each shop’s tanks, optimizing the collection time for each location. This meant used oil was picked up on a set schedule at appropriate intervals without shop owners having to call or worry about their tanks reaching capacity. Terrapure also developed customized certificates to be displayed in the lube shops noting their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability through the recycling of their used oil.
By partnering with Terrapure, the lube shops have been able to continue offering high levels of customer service, improve efficiencies by ensuring tanks never reach full capacity, and highlight their sustainability to their customers with a certificate that quantifies how much oil they have recycled.