Our climate and economy are facing some huge challenges in the coming decades. Among them is the depletion of the natural petrochemical reserves which most of the world relies on for power, plastic, and lubrication.
Every litre of oil pulled from the ground represents not only greenhouse gas emissions. It's also a litre of oil which will be unavailable in the future.
Estimates from British Petroleum put us at about half a century of reserves left at our current rate of consumption. It’s a scary thought, especially considering how dependent modern society is on oil.
Fossil fuel depletion
The depletion of natural reserves of oil is an enormous concern. Oil takes millions of years to form, primarily being formed from plants and organisms much, much older than our entire civilization. When the organic mass is pressed down by the enormous pressure of the earth’s crust, they degrade into the mess of hydrocarbons which we call crude oil.
As time has gone on we’ve expanded our extraction methods. Previously wells pulled liquid oil directly from the earth but in modern times there are an assortment of methods used to try and pull pressure off of the world’s oil reserves, such as fracking or sifting through the low quality crude that makes up the bulk of the world’s oil sands.
But oil is more omnipresent than many people realize. As a matter of fact, replacing oil as a fuel source will be relatively easy compared to the other parts of the equation. It’s used to reduce wear in machines, distilled into solvents, and it’s the key ingredient for modern logistics.Even plastics are simply merged hydrocarbons drawn from crude oil. Simply put, there's simply not enough oil to keep things powered and running smooth in the long run.
The truth is that the world’s economy is built on oil, and most of us aren’t ready to picture a world without it. While it may happen eventually, the process is bound to be long and painful.
Conserving oil through recycling
Oil recycling is nothing new. But the problem lies in the fact that much of the “recycled” oil is simply filtered to remove the bulk of the contaminants, and moved farther down the chain. So whether it’s oil from your car or the lube for an industrial honing machine, it will eventually end up as either bitumen used to bind asphalt or being burned in a furnace somewhere.
So, essentially, traditional oil recycling only prolongs the lifespan of oil. It’s a noble gesture but in the end it does very little to reduce demand for oil. And with a growing global population it’s simply not enough.
In an ideal world, the same oil could be used time and time again for the same purpose.
That’s exactly what’s happening now.
Regeneration of lubrication oil
The technology that can enable a circular use of oil is known as Double Separation Technology (DST). Through DST we have proven time and time again to be able to remove over 99% of the total contaminants. And this is in oil which is considered to have reached the end of its useful lifespan.
The oil, once treated with DST, can then have it’s additives replenished and the oil can be reused for its original purpose. Indefinitely, we’ve had oils go through the process dozens of times with more than satisfactory results for our clients.
This isn’t oil recycling, it’s oil regeneration. The DST process removes 94%+ of contaminants in the oil, even removing harsh oxides that result from catalytic action in the oil and the effects of heat and pressure over time.
By regenerating oil ,instead it can remain in circulation for virtually unlimited uses rather than being fed down the chain until it ends up being burned in a furnace somewhere.
The end result for fossil fuel reserves
Lube oil requires about 1.4 litres of crude to produce a litre of the end product. When DST is used on lubrication oils it cuts the required input from crude down by an enormous factor. We’ve seen it drop as much as 90% in some cases.
That’s great news for the future. Reducing the consumption of oil doesn’t just prolong reserves: it also reduces overall demand for new oil extraction with all of the attendant environmental problems that come with most oil drilling and mining techniques.
And oil is just going to get more and more expensive and harder to extract as time continues to march on. By keeping oil in circulation for dozens of times longer than was possible previously we can help to reduce global demand for oil as the world begins to prepare for our next step when it comes to energy.
DST is a game changer. Using our technology, oil can be restored to it’s previous status, the additive package placed within, and returned.
Want to learn more?
While the world’s oil reserves being depleted is an eventuality we have to prepare for, there’s a solution in the regeneration of oil instead of the traditional recycling methods.
Imagine a world where the same lubricant oil remains in the chain indefinitely. Where even the most contaminated oil can be filtered, DST-treated, and returned to the supply chain without sacrificing quality.
That’s the world that we’re working to bring to reality.