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NORA Submits Comments on California Legislative Proposal AB 628

Wednesday, April 22, 2015   (0 Comments)
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NORA Submits Comments on California Legislative Proposal AB 628 
Association Raises Concerns Related to Biosynthetic Lubricants

Gainesville, Virginia (April 22, 2015) - NORA, An Association of Responsible Recyclers (formerly the National Oil Recyclers Association) issued comments on A.B. 628, an Assembly Bill encouraging the procurement of “biosynthetic” lubricants, after it was submitted in California earlier this year.

NORA does not oppose the promotion of non-petroleum based lubricants, often referred to as “bio-lubes.” The primary problem presented by A.B. 628 is the oil recycling industry’s inability to collect, process and recycle used lubricants consisting of a combination of petroleum and biodegradable lubricants. The chemistry of these two categories of lubricants is too dissimilar to permit recycling of any mixture of these materials. Moreover, no technology is commercially available that can efficiently separate the animal and plant fat phase of the mixture from the petroleum phase.

The numerous specific technical problems with attempting to recycle used bio-lube materials include: 

• The distillation of the bio-lube oil results in a solid bottoms residue (in contrast to a pumpable, viscous material from normal used oil re-refining that can be marketed as an asphalt additive).

• The distillation of the bio-lube oil creates a residue material that polymerizes in and plugs overhead condensers.

Moreover, the yield of re-refined bio-lube feedstock material is 10 to 15 percent below that achieved from normal (petroleum-based) used oil.

In addition to the technology and chemistry obstacles that impede recycling of used bio-lube materials, another problem is that the logistical structure for collecting and transporting bio-lube materials does not exist. To implement the objective of A.B. 628, a parallel system of storing, collecting, transporting and re-refining bio-lube materials would have to be constructed. In addition, in view of the fact that very few bio-lube re-refining facilities currently operate or are planned for construction, the overall transportation costs to convey bio-lube materials from the many points of generation to a re-refining facility would be prohibitively expensive. 

This bill is similar to California SB 916 that NORA and its members worked to defeat last year.

The full opposition statement is available here


About NORA

NORA, An Association of Responsible Recyclers represents over 390 leading companies involved in the responsible recycling of used oil and related materials that would otherwise negatively impact the environment. NORA members work every day to ensure that more than a billion gallons per year of used oil and related materials are collected, recycled and given another useful life. NORA has been defending and promoting the industry since 1985. For more information on NORA, visit

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