Earth911 recently reported on Valvoline’s new NextGen motor oil – the first high-performance re-refined motor oil that has been widely available to do-it-yourself oil changers.
But Kansas-based Universal Lubricants has been selling their high-quality re-refined motor oil to car dealers, quick lube stations and auto repair shops since 2010. The company’s Eco Ultra product contains up to 70 percent recycled oil.
Like Valvoline’s NextGen product, Universal’s Eco Ultra is not made using an acid-clay treatment, an older re-refining process that created a usable, but low-quality motor oil. Universal uses a “state-of-the-art” hydro-treating process that the company developed in 2009, said CEO John Wesley.
The company blends in additives to improve the oil’s performance quality, so it meets the standards of the American Petroleum Institute for motor oil.
According to Universal, it takes 85 percent less energy to re-refine the Eco Ultra product than to refine a conventional product from crude oil. The Eco Ultra’s cost is similar to that of the conventional, non-recycled motor oil the company sells, Wesley says.
Universal collects used motor oil from auto shops and dealers in the Midwest and uses this oil to make their Eco Ultra product.
“We are the only closed loop provider of motor oil,” Wesley said. “We collect, re-refine, blend and re-distribute.”
Wesley says that their customers have been very receptive to purchasing a “green” motor oil.
“There are not many ways service installers can differentiate themselves. Using an environmentally responsible motor oil is a way to market themselves to customers and can be a potential revenue source,” Wesley said.
While Universal sells primarily to auto dealers and shops, Wesley says the company will soon be launching into the DIY consumer market.