SKFOAAS project
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SKF and the regeneration of industrial oils

Climate, Natural Resources and Environment

Funded with €1.62 million from the European Commission’s Innovation Fund Small Scale 2020 call, SKFOAAS project aims to install and operate an autonomous processing plant for the regeneration of industrial oils in Tudela (North of Spain). The project, which is already underway, uses the innovative double separation technology (DST®) developed by SKF RecondOil® to remove contaminants from used oils and return them to a cleaner state and a remarkably important level of usability.

DST® combines chemical and mechanical separation processes. In the first step, a special chemical composition, called a booster, is added to the oil. This attracts dirt from the oil, down to nanometre-sized particles, leaving the essential product additives intact. In the second step, the impurities are removed, leaving the oil clean. In this way, SKFOAAS enables the circular recovery and reuse of oils that would normally have reached the end of their useful life, which would require disposal, often by incineration.

The application of DST® can reduce the need to produce virgin oil from fossil sources and reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions associated with the production, transport, and disposal of the replaced virgin oil. The new plant from SKF – a world-leading company with products and services that meet the requirements of virtually all rotary motion applications in all industrial sectors – is expected to be able to treat up to 2.5 million litres of used oil per year. At full capacity, this is equivalent to avoiding more than 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the first 10 years of operation (compared to the same amount of virgin oil produced, used, and disposed of).

This innovation is in line with the EU’s industrial strategy to promote circularity in new areas and sectors of the economy, to reduce raw material consumption, waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions. It also responds to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

DST® and new processing plants using it could be deployed near large industrial sites and for customers operating in various regional industries, such as chemicals, petrochemicals, refineries, and aeronautics. This technology can be replicated in the industrial oil sector, which can contribute to environmental benefits and emission reductions. Beyond its sector, the RecondOil® solution can be used throughout the economy, in manufacturing industries, such as aerospace, mining, mineral processing, cement production, car and truck manufacturing, in Europe and around the world.

SKF Española had already opted for the services of Zabala Innovation on several occasions, so it was obvious to count on them once again for the submission of our proposal to the Innovation Fund Small Scale call,” stresses Julián Jiménez, Director of the SKF factory in Tudela. “This confidence was rewarded with the positive evaluation of the project by the European Commission and, therefore, with the corresponding funding,” he adds.

When SKF developed this innovative pilot plant, Zabala Innovation informed SKF that there was a possibility of obtaining this important European support. “The procedure to get this kind of funding is quite complex and there are many things to consider, such as the preparation of the proposal, the financial part, the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions, among other things. It was clear that we needed an expert to advise us on these tasks,” Jiménez explains.

“Zabala Innovation made this process much easier for us: they helped us to make our project fit the requirements of the call for proposals, a job we could not have done on our own. The experience and support we received from this consultancy helped to bring the SKFOAAS project to life and thereby contribute to saving greenhouse gas emissions,” concludes Jiménez.

Julián Jiménez

“Zabala Innovation supported us, in a rather complex procedure, to make our project fit the requirements of the call for proposals”

Julián Jiménez

Director of the SKF factory in Tudela (Spain)

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessairily reflect those of the European Union or the European Climate, Infrsastructure and environment Executive Agency (Cinea). Neither the european Union nor the granting authority can be hel responsible for them.

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