Gasoline and Diesel Synthesis from Waste Lubricating Oil: A Kinetic Approach

ABSTRACT: Waste lubricating oil arises wherever work is carried out with lubricating oil and where it is put to use for a particular purpose. Waste lubricating oil should be collected and reused in order to decrease detrimental effects on environment, and underground and surface waters, since it pollutes the atmospheric air as a result of burning and has adverse effects on living organisms. One litre of waste engine oil discharge to environment makes 8 lakh tons of water unusable, and more than 50 lakh tons of clean water undrinkable. Conversion of the waste lubricating oil into fuel and utilization of fuel product has positive effect on environment and atmospheric air, and also has economical balance.

A study of thermal treatment to waste lubricating oil has been carried out to obtained gasoline and diesel like fuel. The effect of temperature on quality and quantity of product fuel has been also studied.

Keywords: Fuel form of waste oil, Kinetics of pyrolysis , Lubricating oil, Pyrolysis of waste oil, Waste lubricating oil.


1,2,3 Lubricating oils are prepared by blending different viscosity-based oils with suitable proportion of additives. Base oils are either derived from crude oil or synthetic material manufactured by chemical processes. Recycling of used lubricating oil is an intelligent option for any country, more so for India, as it would conserve our natural resources as well as foreign exchange. Mineral waste lubricating oil sources, particularly engine oils have attracted much attention as an alternative energy source. Conversion of the waste lubricating into fuel by using pyrolysis technique has positive effects on environment and atmospheric air, and also has economical value.


4,5,6,7The aim of this study is to obtain fuel from waste lubricating oils by pyrolysis technique. In this study waste lubricating oil were pretreated to remove contaminants. Then this waste oil samples were heated in the reactor at high temperature. This leads to convert waste oil into fuel. The product obtained was subjected to further fractionation to obtain gasoline i.e. petrol and diesel like fuel. After this process, typical characteristics of these fuels, such as specific gravity, viscosity, flash point, heating value, distillation characteristics were tested.

In order to carry out the work, following techniques were used:


To study the effect of temperature on pyrolysis of waste oil, the various operating parameters used are as follows:

1Type of reactor=quartz / quartz / quartz
2Capacity of reactor=1000 ml / 1000 ml / 1000 ml
3Feed used=Used oil
4Volume of feed used=500 ml / 500 ml / 500 ml
5To avoid bumping, material used=Silica pieces
6Heating device=Electrical heater, 2 KW
7Heating / Temperature controlling=Demmerstate
8Demmerstate reading=220 V / 210 V / 200 V
9Feed temperature used for=460℃/ 445℃/ 430℃ (± 2℃)
Dissociation462℃ / 447℃ / 432℃
10Maximum temperature of feed reach=
11Minimum temperature of feed=458℃ / 443℃/ 428℃
12The temperature at which first drop=398℃ / 395℃ / 391℃
of liquid product appeared
13Time required to reach first drop of=12 min. / 15 min. / 19.11 min.
liquid product
14Total time required to reach the 75%=42 min. / 48 min. / 61 min.
recovery (380 ml)
15Quantity of liquid product obtained=440 ml / 424 ml / 416 ml
16Quantity of vapor product obtained=0.78 gm / 0.22 gm / 0.218 gm
17Quantity of residue obtained=53 ml / 70.8 ml / 79.6 ml
18Total losses=7.0 ml / 5.2 ml / 4.4 ml
(vapors collected + losses) ml

6,7The liquid product obtained by pyrolysis of waste lubricating oil at three different temperatures are subjected to characterization as per IP/ASTM norms. The results obtained are as follows:

Sr  No.PropertiesFeedLiquid product
Liquid product
Liquid product
1ColourBlackDark brownBrownBrown
2Specific gravity, 20℃0.930.860.8340.831
3API gravity20.6527.4838.1640.85
4Density, 20℃0.93260.8610.8390.833
5Viscosity, cst (38℃)
6Flash point, ℃186444340
7Aniline point, ℃85747270
8Diesel index38.245.4161.6664.54
9Smoke point, mm222119
10CCR, wt%0.90.780.660.6
11Acid value, mg of KOH/gm0.269280.11220.125660.17952
12Saponification  value, mg of KOH/gm7.9610.65910.8811.22
13Calorific value, KJ/gm38.9340.31940.82340.83
14Copper corrosion test,  3 hours at   100℃ /For product 50℃Not worse thanNot worse thanNot worse thanNot worse than
15Pour point, ℃C-6Less than -20Less than -20Less than -20
16Refractive index, 30℃1.483451.46841.46721.4661
17ASTM Distillation:
18IBP, ℃876460
1910%, ℃171151135
2020%, ℃219211200
2130%, ℃260253248
2240%, ℃295290285
2350%, ℃321315309
2460%, ℃345343338
2570%, ℃368360358
2680%, ℃386
27Total distillate%, (400℃)737588

8,9,10,11Here in all three cases, it is observed that the product specific gravity is less than the feed, indicating that feed undergoes cracking to give product which is lighter in nature.

The lowest value of specific gravity is at temperature 460℃ and higher value is at temperature 430℃. This is because the higher temperature gives more lighter product, again as cracking temperature increases, depth of cracking increases.

The order of increasing in viscosity and flash point is as 460℃ < 445 ℃< 430℃ indicating that the higher temperature cracking gives less viscosity and low flash point components. This is because as temperature increases the cracking increases which give more and more lighter product having low viscosity and low flash point.

The order of increasing in aniline point is as 460℃ < 445℃< 430℃. As temperature increases, cracking increases which gives more aromatic HC. Because increases in cracking increases cyclisation and hydrogenation reaction. Hence increasing aromatic HC which have low aniline point. Again high molecular weight saturated HC having high aniline point, such high molecular weight HC are present in more quantity in low temperature i.e. 430℃ product stream.

The order of increasing CCR value is 460℃< 445℃ < 430℃. As lighter molecule gives low carbon residue than the heavier one. As high temperature cracking gives more lighter component than low temperature cracking but increase in CCR value is very less.
The order of increasing smoke point is as 460℃ < 445℃ < 430℃. This is indicating that the high temperature cracking gives more aromatic HC than the low temperature.

Acid value shows the trend of increase acid value and saponification value as cracking temperature increases. Here the acid value is less than 0.2 mg of KOH/gm of sample. But saponification value having very high value i.e. more than 10 mg of KOH/gm of sample.

S. N.Temperature ®430 ℃445 ℃460 ℃
Sample ¯Quantity in ml
2Crack product416424440
4Gases in gm0.2180.220.78
5Diesel302 (-72.6%)306 (72.17%)316 (71.82%)
6Petrol114 (-27.4%)118 (27.83%)124 (28.18%)


From all these observations, it is confirm that when used oil is subjected to high temperature, i.e. more than 4000C, it undergoes cracking. Again depth of cracking increases as temperature increases. At high temperature cracking gives more and lighter product. Similarly high temperature gives products with more aromatic hydrocarbon.

Again high temperature pyrolysis gives comparatively less percent of diesel yield and high percentage of gasoline yield. At high temperature yield of residue is also less. This also indicates that pyrolysis temperature increases, the depth of cracking increase to yield more lighter hydrocarbons.


Authors are thankful to U.D.C.T., S.G.B. Amravati University, Amravati, M.S. (India) and Laxminarayan Institute of Technology (L.I.T.), R.T.M. Nagpur University, Nagpur, M.S. (India) for providing help to carry out this research work.


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