Re-Refined Lubricating Oil
Re-refined lubricating oils include engine lubrication oil, hydraulic fluids, and gear oils. EPA's designation specifically excludes marine and aviation oils. The recycling of used oil has evolved from simply removing water, insolubles, and dirt, to the more complicated removal of heavy metals, nitrogen, chlorine, and oxygenated compounds. Today, re-refined lubricating oil is subject to the same stringent refining, compounding, and performance standards as virgin oil for use in automotive, heavy-duty diesel, and other internal combustion engines, hydraulic fluids, and gear oils. In addition, extensive laboratory testing and field studies have concluded that re-refined oil is equivalent to virgin oil, passes all prescribed tests, and can even outperform virgin oil. In fact, the three major U.S. automobile manufacturers now recognize that re-refined oil meets the performance criteria in their warranties.
- Recommended Recovered Materials Content Ranges
- Product Specifications
- Product Information
- Additional Links
EPA recommends that procuring agencies set their minimum re-refined oil content standard at the highest level of re-refined oil that they determine meets the statutory requirements of RCRA section 6002(c)(1), but no lower than 25 percent re-refined oil.
EPA recommends that procuring agencies review their procurement practices and eliminate those which would inhibit or preclude procurement of lubricating oils containing re-refined oil. For example, procuring agencies should review the practices of inviting bids and issuing contracts to do the following:
- Supply a broad range of lubricating oil products on an "all or none" basis.
- Supply lubricating oils for an excessively long period of time.
- Deliver lubricating oils to geographic locations throughout the United States or to an excessively broad geographic area.
- Supply excessively large contract quantities.
- Engine lubricating oils:
- A-A-52039-Commercial Item Description, Lubricating Oil, Automotive Engine, API Service SG (replaced MIL-L-46152, Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Administrative Service).
- API Engine Service Category SF-1980 Gasoline Engine Warranty Maintenance Service (or current category).
- A-A-52306-Commercial Item Description, Lubricating Oil, Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine (for wheeled vehicles only).
- API Engine Service Category CC-Diesel Engine Service (or current category).
- MIL-L-2104, Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Combat/Tactical Service.
- API Engine Service Category CD-Diesel Engine Service (or current category).
- MIL-L-21260D (or current version)-Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Preservative and Break-in.
- MIL-L-46167B (or current version)-Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Arctic.
- Hydraulic fluids
- MIL-H-5606E (or current version)-Hydraulic Fluid, Petroleum Base, Aircraft, Missile, and Ordnance.
- MIL-H-6083E (or current version)-Hydraulic Fluid, Petroleum Base, For Preservation and Operation.
- Gear oils
- MIL-L-2105D (or current version) Lubricating Oil, Gear, Multipurpose.
Copies of the military specifications can be obtained from: Commanding Officer, Naval Publications and Forms Center, 5801 Tabor Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19120.
of Manufacturers and Suppliers
This database identifies manufacturers and suppliers of re-refined lubricating oils.
DLA Environmental Products
This is a list of environmental products offered by the US Defense Logistics Agency, including re-refined oil.
Buy-Recycled Series: Vehicular Products (PDF) (8 pp, 129K, About PDF )
This fact sheet highlights the vehicular products designated in the CPG, including re-refined oil, and includes case studies, recommended recovered content levels, and a list of resources.
Technical Background Documents
Technical background information on re-refined oil was published in the Federal Register on February 17, 1989 (54 FR 24699) and codified at 40 CFR 247. You can view this document at the RCRA Docket in Arlington, Virginia. To obtain the address of the Docket and make an appointment, call 202 566-0270. This product designation was one of five incorporated in CPG I/RMAN I on May 1, 1995 (60 FR 21370-21386).