Environmental benefits

About 350 million litres of waste lube oil is collected in Australia every year.

Wastefully, 60% is burned in Australia and 24% is exported to be burned overseas, mainly in Asia.

Each tonne of oil burned releases 2.92 tonnes of CO2e into the environment.

If all of Australia’s collected waste oil was re-refined instead of burned, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by about 1 million tonnes per year.

Burning destroys a valuable commodity and permanently removes lube oil from productive use.

Southern Oil’s refining process produces no waste, creating a near perpetual cycle of use and re-use of a diminishing and finite resource.

Every component is reused and 99% of the lube oil component in the waste oil is recovered as high quality lube oil.

Production of re-refined lube oil uses 60% less energy compared to the production of crude lube oil, all of which is imported to Australia.

Re-refined oils are subjected to testing and must adhere to quality standards under the national Product Stewardship (Oil) Act.

Recovered oils for burning are not subjected to any quality specifications.

Used oil contains elements which are potentially harmful, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals and dioxins/furans.

These chemicals are known carcinogens and mutagens.

The Southern Oil re-refining process removes these harmful elements.

Waste lube oil is classified as a hazardous substance and,  if unregulated or burned at low temperatures, can potentially release a range of these toxic compounds directly into the environment.

Waste lube oil is recognised internationally as a hazardous substance and exports should be restricted, to benefit Australia.

For oil exported overseas, no re-refineries in Asia can produce Category 1 base oils and all of Australia’s exported waste lube oil is burned – which Australia does not monitor.

Allowing the unfettered export of waste lube oil (all of which is wastefully burned) denies Australia the opportunity to maximise supplies for re-refining where the highest beneficial re-use is achieved.

Economic benefits
Waste lube oil producers