Petroleum Consumption Cut
East Carolina University has taken another step to reduce petroleum product consumption on campus by using re-refined motor oil for vehicles.
“Re-refining is the reuse of oil that would otherwise be discarded,” said George Harrell, senior associate vice chancellor for campus operations at ECU. “In recycling, reuse is the goal.”
Lubricating oil does not wear out, Harrell said, it simply becomes dirty. Once water and other contaminants are removed, it is as good as new.
“We have found there is no compromise in the quality of re-refined oil; it must meet the same high standards as new oils,” he said. “It complies with American Petroleum Institute certification requirements and vehicle manufacturers’ warranty requirements.”
During the research that led to the conversion, ECU found re-refined motor oil to be an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way to manage used motor oil. The cost savings are minimal, averaging a few cents a quart less. Harrell said the decision to use the recycled oil is based on conservation, not fiscal reasons.
The change follows the ECU’s conversion to gasohol, a mixture of ethanol and gasoline that can be used in place of regular gasoline. The university began using the mixture this year, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in petroleum.