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Author Topic: Can oil be recycled?  (Read 4455 times)

Cameron Clarke

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Can oil be recycled?
« on: 11/02/2011 23:30:03 »
Cameron Clarke  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Naked Scientists,
 
In Earth Science at my High School we have been learning about everything Earth related such as plate tectonic movement and crystal formations underground. I was wondering if you could answer me this question:
 
Can oil be recycled and if not is there any way that technology could make that happen in the coming years?
 
Thank You!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/02/2011 23:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline Airthumbs

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Can oil be recycled?
« Reply #1 on: 12/02/2011 00:46:50 »
Interesting question, where has all the oil gone?   Organic/mineral oils, or whats left of us burning them, are all around us.... petrochemicals for example, you eat them in your food colouring, you wear them in the form of your nylon and polyester clothes, they are in the air we breath!

For oil to become recyclable as oppose to re-useable you would have to be able to somehow turn it into a renewable source of energy with a similar environmental impact that other renewable sources of energy have.
 

Offline Mazurka

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Can oil be recycled?
« Reply #2 on: 14/03/2011 17:16:26 »
There are emerging technologies that can turn certain plastics back into a liquid hydrocarbon - which is true recycling.

Most waste oil gets blended into heavy fuel oil used in ships or to fire cement kilns and asphalt plants - this is reusing, but one time only...

There has been far more oil generated  by the breakdown of organic matter over geological time than will ever be extracted.  As most of this has not been caught in a suitable reservor rock it has disapated away and ultimately broken down by bacteria.
 

Online Bored chemist

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Can oil be recycled?
« Reply #3 on: 14/03/2011 20:31:51 »
You could, in principle, gather the CO2 and water from the air and convert them back into oil; but the energy needed to do this would be at least as great as (and in practice much greater than) the energy you got from burning it in the first place.
 

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Can oil be recycled?
« Reply #3 on: 14/03/2011 20:31:51 »

 

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