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Pollution of Different Types of Oils

  1. Dec 30, 2014 #1
    Hello all,

    Recently I built myself a waste oil furnace. It can run on any type of oil, but I would like to burn the most environmentally friendly oil, or at least become more educated on the types of pollution some of these oils produce.

    My first question is (based purely on curiosity), does burning petroleum based products in a furnace change the amount of pollutants that go into the air when compared to burning these products in an internal combustion engine?

    Second, I have a wide variety of oils to choose from, such as..

    -Waste motor oil
    -Diesel Fuel
    -Waste Kitchen Oil
    -Heating Oil

    What I would like to know is, how environmentally friendly each one of these petroleum products is when burned in a furnace. I recently found out that no one is allowed to give me waste motor oil due to EPA regulations. I then researched this more to find that waste motor oil has many toxic chemicals in it. This prompted me to want to learn more about how these types of oil pollute.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2014 #2


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    Heavy metals.
    Additives of various types.
    Reasonably clean.
    Who knows how much NOx from food residues, plus phosphorus, chlorine, and other food decomposition products.
    Supposed to be clean.
    You'll want to check state and local environmental regulations, local building and fire code, and what else ---- your home insurance provider.
  4. Dec 30, 2014 #3
    Thanks! Exactly what I needed!

    Lol yes the last thing I want is to burn my house down. Taking all safety precautions.
  5. Dec 31, 2014 #4

    Doug Huffman

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    Yes. Engines carefully ensure adequate air in the mixture, constant temperature for such as NOx reduction. A furnace is largely unregulated fuel/air combustion.
    Roughly inversely to their real cost/cost to you. IOW fuels will be friendly but expensive, while recycled will be cheap because they have become more toxic in pre-use.
    You must know the details of regulations and EPA regulations and not cop an easy answer. A license may be required to recycle motor oil but it must be done.
    I once had a Fed try to convince me that diesel fuel was a hazardous material for the cadmium content that he had just discovered. The argument was expensive and diesel fuel continues to be used.
  6. Dec 31, 2014 #5
    What about unburned hydrocarbons? Wouldn't a furnace not have any since all the fuel has enough time for complete combustion?

    Thanks for your reply by the way!
  7. Dec 31, 2014 #6

    Doug Huffman

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    What is the oily smoke from a smoky furnace but unburned hydrocarbons.
  8. Jan 9, 2015 #7
    Oil is used as a fuel for engines in cars, planes,ship,trucks etc and is also generate a large pollution. Mainly , Oil Spill contaminated water supply and causes more pollution than others especially in marine areas and destructs the sea animals and birds.
  9. Jan 9, 2015 #8

    Doug Huffman

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    Causes more pollution than others, what others, please?
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