From Sludge to Energy: Using Motor Oil as an Energy Source

The good news and bad news about used motor oil.

| November/December 2008

  • Used motor oil can be used to create energy.

The Bad News
Used motor oil is the single largest contributor to water contamination in the U.S. A gallon of motor oil can potentially contaminate 1 million gallons of drinking water, according to the EPA. Each year, 200 million gallons of used motor oil are dumped into the environment, the EPA estimates.

The Good News
Clean Burn Energy Systems keeps used motor oil out of waterways—and puts it back to work creating energy. The Pennsylvania-based company builds furnaces that burn used motor oil to heat air and water, potentially reducing motor-oil pollution by 33 percent.

Help out
Look online to find out if used motor oil furnaces are available in your area.

For more information, visit

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