The current practice when disposing of waste oil and oil filters is not an effective method of addressing the damage that motor oil is doing to the environment.
The “green” environmentally friendly era is upon us, with many companies scrambling to become leading “environmental stewards.” Until now, however, there has been little concern when it comes to one of the biggest environmental issues in the transportation industry: engine oil and filter disposal.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, used oil and filters are among the biggest pollutants nationally and globally. Companies are adapting emissions reduction programs and taking on initiatives such as switching fuel sources to natural gas, but are not paying enough attention to this environmental challenge. The current practice of disposing of waste oil and oil filters is not an effective method of addressing the damage that motor oil is doing to the environment. Tests have proven that several ounces of oil remain in typical conventional paper-type filters, even after the filter is drained for several days — a typical protocol in the industry. It is impossible for the oil to totally escape from the oil-soaked paper element.
After years of research, development and testing, Eco Flow, LLC, introduces a patent-pending line of filters that provides a complete, environmentally safe and cost-effective solution to these current problems.
Understanding Micron Ratings
Engine design has changed significantly over the past 10 years. Newer engines typically require finer filtration of contaminants to ensure long life of critical, expensive engine components.
Micron ratings are often used in an effort to indicate the contaminant removal capability of a liquid filter; however, micron ratings can be misleading if one does not fully understand how to use them.
Let’s first look at what a micron is: A micron is a unit of measure in the metric system equal to 1 millionth of a meter in length (about 39 millionths of an inch). To put that in perspective, the average cross-section of a human hair is 40-90 microns. The human eye cannot see anything smaller than 40 microns in size.
When talking about oil filters, two filters may each be considered 10-micron filters, but one may remove a greater percentage of 10-micron size particles of contaminants – thus the filters would not be considered equal in performance. For a micron rating to be useful, you must know the filter’s removal efficiency of the specific particle size in question.
There are two terms that need to be considered when purchasing oil filters: The term “nominal” micron rating typically means that the filter is capable of removing 50% of a specific size particle. Some companies’ “nominal” micron ratings may range anywhere from 1% to 50% efficiency at removing a specific particle size.
The term “absolute micron rating” means that the filter is capable of removing at least 98.7% of a specific size particle under laboratory conditions. This rating is far more accurate than a nominal rating. (Source: Baldwin Filters, 2010)
Eco Flow’s Absolute Micron Rating
Designed by filter engineers with more than 40 years serving as experts in the filtration field, Eco Flow filters are constructed of the highest quality materials. The Eco Flow filter media is proprietaryconstructed stainless steel media with a stainless steel center tube for strength, giving the filters a full-flow filter design filtering down to a minute 15-micron filter rating. Most conventional filters are paper or cellulose media type filters and have a nominal micron rating of no less than 25 microns and as high as 40 microns. Eco Flow filters are designed to last for 4 years, replacing approximately 15-25 conventional throw-away filters during that lifecycle, saving on disposal costs and becoming more environmentally friendly through waste reduction.
Eco Flow filters have far exceeded many tests, including SAE J1858 Multipass Test, SAE HS806 Resistance to Flow Test, SAE ARP1400 Rev.B Burst Rate Test, 5 Gas Analyzer Test. These tests have shows the following results:
- 40% more oil flow area, allowing the engine to receive highly efficient filtration, lower pressure drop and higher contaminant holding capacity, up to 40% lower oil flow restriction
- Flow rate @ 150 pmEfficiency @ 99% @15um
Servicing Eco Flow Filters
When service intervals are reached with an Eco Flow filter, the same process applies. First, remove the filter, and then drain the filter for the normal filter draining interval. The Eco Flow Filter is then placed in the 2-stage Eco Flow ultrasonic cleaning machine for about 2 minutes. After the cleaning process, the filters are 100% clean and can be returned back to service.
Ultrasonic cleaning has been used with 100% success in both the airline and the medical industry for “precise cavitation” cleaning. Eco Flow’s Ultrasonic cleaning machine was designed by some of the leading ultrasonic professionals in the industry today. Repetitive testing has proven the Eco Flow ultrasonic machine to be 100% effective in removing all cavitation debris in the filters, returning the filters to pristine condition.
The Eco Flow machine also doubles as a high-end parts cleaning machine, saving the customer even more money from sending out parts for professional cleaning.
Saving Green with Eco Flow
Customers can expect a cost savings of 20-40% over their current filter costs and benefit from being a green-minded company. There is no additional buy in. When a company chooses the Eco Flow system, a 4-year lease program through Eco Flow shifts the current monthly cost for filters and replaces that cost with Eco Flow filters and the Eco Flow ultrasonic cleaning machine. Both the machine and the filters are designed to last at least 4 years. At the end of the 4-year lease, Eco Flow replaces the filters and the machine with new equipment, so customers can be assured they are getting the latest and most innovative equipment.
Oil and Fuel Testing: A Critical Part
Oil and fuel testing is an intricate part of preventive maintenance in the industry. Eco Flow also partnered with one of the most prestigious oil and fuel testing laboratories in the industry, Tribologik® Labs. Eco Flow’s customers will have the ability to pre-test the condition of the engine oil and re-test after using the Eco Flow Filter, and continue to test engine oil, which is a critical part of a premier maintenance program for engine longevity.
Oil and fuel analysis is to equipment what blood analysis is to human health. Based on patients’ test results, a physician will recommend certain medications or lifestyle changes. Repeating these tests periodically, the physician will be able to deduce trends and adjust recommendations and medications according to the specific history of each patient. Similarly, Tribologik Labs will deduce trends from oil analysis results and make specific recommendations, not only based on the current oil condition but also based on the specific oil analysis history of the machine as well as on its operating conditions.
Whereas preventive maintenance consists of changing oil and/or parts on a scheduled time table (e.g. after so many operating hours), predictive maintenance assists in maximizing the operating life of your oil and fluids up to or beyond the manufacturers’ fixed limits.
The downside of preventive maintenance is that you may get rid of parts or lubricants that have not yet reached the end of their useful life. Specialty lubricants and replacement parts are expensive, not to mention the cost of disposal of underused oil. Why change them if they are still in operating condition? The answer is because you don’t want to play heads or tails with expensive equipment, and because breakdowns and unscheduled shutdowns cost money as well.
Preventive maintenance makes sense, of course, but predictive maintenance is even better and cheaper: Oil analysis reduces the frequency of lubricant and parts replacement and consequently the cost of the materials required for maintaining the health of your equipment.