Castrol rolling out 'circular' oil recycling program

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Castrol on Thursday announced a partnership with Safety-Kleen that it hopes to reduce the carbon footprint of its business lubricants in the U.S. by refining and recycling engine oil. 

Of the more than one billion gallons of used oil generated annually in the U.S., according to Kline & Company, only around 20% is currently re-refined back to base oils.

The Castrol MoreCircular program encompasses the entire process of collecting used oil from business customers like fleets, re-refining it and integrating re-refined base oil into premium lubricants. 

“Our ability to collect used oil from across the country and reprocess a waste product means that it can be used again and again.3 Delivering these lower-carbon-footprint lubricants can help our customers meet their sustainability goals with the same high-quality and high-performance they expect from Castrol,” said Andreas Osbar, CEO of Castrol Americas. “We believe the time is right to lead the market with an integrated lower-carbon offer as our business customers are searching for levers to help de-carbonize their operations. This is a first-of-its kind, nationwide offer in the US and we’re excited to partner with Safety-Kleen to deliver it.”

The full lifecycle program begins with the collection of used lubricants from Castrol MoreCircular customers like fleet maintenance shops and industrial sites. The used oil is then re-processed to recover the base oil. Re-refined base oil is combined with Castrol technology to blend premium lubricants, resulting in a 20-40% lower carbon footprint compared to Castrol’s traditional products. 

Typically, 70% of the used oil can be converted back to base oil, Castrol said. 

Castrol MoreCircular combines Castrol’s lubricant technology with Safety-Kleen’s expertise in collecting and re-refining used oil. The companies claim the new product range continues to meet or exceed the latest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and industry standards, and successful customer trials demonstrated these lower carbon footprint lubricants showed the same performance as versions containing virgin base oil.