Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication March April 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 14 of 83

10 | March - April 2014 | ML Cover storY Across industry, great emphasis is placed on the handling and application of lubricants from the moment they arrive at a facility to the time they are introduced into service. However, proper handling techniques do not end when the oil has been put into service. Once the life of the oil has been exceeded, you must ensure the lubricant is captured and disposed of both safely and in an environmentally friendly way. Waste Oil Before beginning a discussion on waste oil, it is important to first understand exactly what it is. A common term that is used interchangeably with waste oil is used oil. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the definition of used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil, or any synthetic oil that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by phys- ical or chemical impurities. This is the technical description for the oil that is drained out of your equipment. Although most used oil alone is considered non-hazardous, if it has been contaminated by a hazardous substance, then it must be handled as hazardous waste. This encompasses an entirely different set of protocols. Just because most mineral and synthetic fluids by themselves are considered non-hazardous does not mean that all risks associated with handling them have been eliminated. Care should be taken during the handling of both new and used oils to avoid any potential risks associated with the fluids. Some oils have been known to cause dermatitis, while others are considered to be toxic. When handling these fluids, exercise caution and avoid prolonged contact with your skin. If you have cuts or sores on your hands, wear gloves to keep the fluid from being introduced into the bloodstream. Biodegradability As industry increasingly becomes more environmentally conscience, great strides have been made in the area of lubricant management and disposal. Lubricants are now being formulated to meet even the most stringent environmental regulations. Lubri- cant biodegradability is often tested and referenced when selecting a lubricant for certain environments. For example, the equipment used in open-pit mining is often very large and holds hundreds of gallons of engine oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil and fuel. In the event of a leak, you would want these oils to be environmentally safe. This is where biodegradability or eco-friendly lubricants come into play. The biodegradability of a lubricant refers to how fast the lubri- cant can be converted to carbon dioxide and water by naturally occurring micro-organisms. There are a few main tests to determine the biodegradability of a lubricant. The first is the primary biode- gradability test (CEC-L-33-A-93). In this test, the candidate oil is contaminated with sewage waste and left for 21 days at 77 degrees By Wes Cash, Noria Corpor atioN Manage Lubricant and disposal waste how to 10 | March - April 2014 |

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