Recycling of Waste Lubricating Oils

What Waste Lubricating Oils are?

They are used combustion engine oils, hydraulic and industrial oils, metalworking oils, transformers oils (without PCBs) etc., or according to the Article 2 of the Presidential Decree 82 “it is every industrial or lubricating oil of mineral or synthetic or mixed base which is unsuitable to be used for the purpose for which it was originally intended …”


Why the proper management of Waste Lubricating Oils is necessary?

It is noted that the Waste Lubricating Oils are extremely dangerous waste because they contain:

  • Heavy Metals should not escape into the atmosphere or aquifer system because they are toxic and carcinogenic.
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in> 3% wt rate, carcinogenic compound in a simple touch with the skin.
  • Chlorinated compounds (no PCBs), during their combustion dioxins and furans are being produced.
  • Sulfur in 0,6-1,0% wt rate, higher than conventional fuel.


For this reason, they have been categorized according to the Decision 2000/532/EC, which have been amended with the Decisions 2001/118/EC, 2001/119/EC and 2001/573/ EC , of the EC Commission (European Waste Catalog), as hazardous waste.

The uncontrollable management of waste lubricating oils creates very important problems:

In the environment

  • Soil Pollution
  • Aquatic Systems Pollution (terrestrial and groundwater)
  • Air pollution


To Public Health

  • Carcinogenics
  • Neurological, circulatory and respiratory problems


How are they managed?

The administration of Waste Lubricating Oils is taking place according to the waste management hierarchy as mentioned in the European Directive 2008/98/ EC. All the Waste Lubricating Oils collected in Greece are led to Regeneration.

The Waste Lubricating Oils are temporarily stored in the Production Points (Service and Filling Stations, Industries, Ports, etc.) in suitable tanks and they are not combined with other waste. The Waste Owners are obliged to give them to the Collectors with a collection and transport license of Waste Lubricating Oils and cooperation contract with ENDIALE S.A alternative management system. On the other hand, the Collectors are obliged to issue an Identification Form of Waste Lubricating Oils at each waste receipt which will be delivered to the Point where they received the waste. After the Collection of Waste Lubricating Oils, they are delivered by the Collectors to one of the Collections Centers of ENDIALE S.A., where a quality- quantity control is carried out and the details of the accompanying Identification Forms of waste are recorded. Through the identification forms, the monitoring of the waste course from the point of production to the final management in Waste Lubricating Oils Regeneration Points, is achieved. In addition to the above mentioned, in Collection Centers of ENDIALE S.A. collectors are provided with the possibility of waste temporary storage cost free, before the delivery of the Collectors to one of the collaborating Regeneration Points of ENDIALE S.A.

The final management of Waste Lubricating Oils is carried out in contracted Regeneration Points of Waste Lubricating Oils of ENDIALE S.A, in which waste are subjected to treatment for the production of a base lubricating oil that is used in the production of new lubricant products.

Exploitation/ Re-refinement of Waste Lubricating Oils

The “Re-refinement of Waste Lubricating Oils” (R9, Annex IV 13588/28-3-2006) is the entire process of base mineral oils recovery, its processing and reuse (recycling). The purpose of these processes is on the one hand to remove the unwanted components, added during the final stage of lubricants production (additives) or accumulated during the lubricants use and the collection/ transport of Waste Lubricating Oils, and on the other the restoration of lubricating characteristics. After the mixture of the different fractures of regenerated lubricating oils not only with each other but also with other appropriate additives, they are available on the market as final lubricating products having the same specifications with the primary lubricants.

In Greece, the applied re-refinement processes differ to each other on the cost of installing and operating, the use of natural resources and energy as well as the environmental impact. In Greece, the applied re-refinement processes are:

  • Modified sulfuric acid method.
  • Catalytic hydrogenation method.


Compared to other alternatives solutions for the disposal of Waste Lubricating Oils, re-refinement is the most environmentally appropriate solution as it is a recycling process and contributes positively to the lubricants life cycle.

It is important to mention that according to the Presidential Decree 82, Article 5, Chapter B

Par. 2.1.a The Waste Lubricating Oils after their collection:

a. Are submitted by priority to management with regeneration. &

par. 2.2.d Regeneration.

b. “at the obligation for the produced regenerated oils to have the same prerequisites with the base mineral oils.”