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Protecting the future

Collection and Sorting

Waste oils and residues are found  both industrial and non-industrial sources  where they have been used as fuels or for lubricating, heat transfer, electrical insulating (dielectric), hydraulic or other purposes and whose original characteristics have changed during use thereby rendering them unsuitable for further use for the purpose for which they were originally intended. Mainly they have become unsuitable for their original purpose due to the presence of contaminants or impurities or the loss of original properties. Separate collection will restrict impurities, so as a result, the management is feasible.


The waste oils and residues are derived from tanks, oil-water mixtures and emulsions. This waste includes oil residues, solvents, sludge and mixtures of water and oil. Waste oils and petroleum residues primarily contain hydrocarbons. They may also contain additives, and impurities due to physical contamination and chemical reactions occurring during their use. Contamination may also occur from them being mixed with other oily fluids or liquid wastes; such contamination may seriously impede recovery or recycling/regeneration operations.

In  Greece, there are three legal methods to handle this waste:

1)            Pre-processing  and disposal at the crude oil refineries for re-refining.   

2)            Mixing with wood-chips for the production of stable secondary fuels with a relatively low heat capacity for disposal in cement kilns.

3)            Disposal via transboundary transportation abroad.

The above mentioned methods have significant problems such as being mixed with waste lubricants (primarily in ports and industries) which according to legislation must be separately collected. Such practices affect the quality of mineral lube oils produced from regeneration of used mineral lube oils and as well, the reduction of the cement kilns production capabilities due to its low heat capacity.

The sustainable management of waste oils and petroleum residues is particularly important because of the large quantities generated, about 200.000 tons per year; the possible effects on the environment and health if not properly handled, treated and disposed of. As well, there is a significant potential for production of new products by regeneration and other techniques.

Protecting the future

-          Recovery and reuse useful products  

-          Reduce environmental impacts from the final disposal and burning of waste oils and residues.   

-          Reduce CO2 emission from the non regeneration or improper regeneration of waste oils and residues.