In 2022, Conou collected 181,000 tons of used lubricating oil: the total amount that can be collected

In 2022, Conou collected 181,000 tons of used lubricating oil: the total amount that can be collected

In the 2022 it was salvaged down to the last drop of oil used. This is the main figure that emerges from the Sustainability report of Conou, the national consortium for waste oils, presented in Rome. In all it is about 181 thousand tons of used lubricating oil, "the totality of the collectable". Of the latter "beyond 98% was regeneratedwith the production of 118,000 tons of new lubricant bases and over 38,000 tons of bitumen and diesel". This activity - continues the analysis - "has had positive effects in economic and social terms: a savings of approximately 130 million euros on the oil bill due to avoided crude oil importsa significant economic impact, and work for 1,216 people between direct and related employment".

The Circular Economy of waste oils

In 2022, the companies of the Conou System confirm a regeneration rate close to 100% of the total oil collected. The slight decrease in the quantity of oil collected compared to 2021 is in line with the national trend which has seen a progressive reduction in the consumption of lubricating oils (-41% from 2000 to 2022), mainly due to technological evolution and, for the sector industry, including the slowdown in industrial production, the pandemic crisis and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

From the 181 thousand tons collected in 2022, well 86 thousand (47% of the total) are derived from the so-called micro-collection, i.e. from those withdrawals of small quantities of used oil which, although not always profitable, are always recovered (always free of charge) thanks to the contractual systems that link the collecting Concessionaires to the Conou. L'88% of the request collection of used oil was received, in fact, from workshops (much more fragmented withdrawals), while the 12% from industry. The average of oil collected is equal to about 3 kg per inhabitant, reaching 3.9 kg/inhabitant. in the North, 2.6 Kg/inhabitant. in the Center and 2.1 Kg/inhabitant. in the South and Islands.

If the collection is very important in the Consortium's activity, the regenerationbecause thanks to the technologically advanced systems of the System it is insured a quality of regenerated lubricants equal to those produced in the traditional way from petroleum.

Positive impacts on the environment and health

In 2022, the Conou System, in addition to having avoided the emission of 64,000 tons of CO2equivalent responsible for the greenhouse effect, has made it possible to achieve a significant number of benefits in terms of environmental protection and human health compared to the alternative system which starts from the extraction and refining of petroleum to produce lubricant bases:

  • 86% of fossil fuels saved
  • 29% of water saved
  • reduction of 77% of land use
  • 84% of toxic units with carcinogenic effects avoided
  • Abatement of 91% the incidence of disease due to particulate emissions
  • 84% less sulfur dioxide emissions (responsible for "acid rain")
  • 90% fewer emissions of chlorofluorocarbon11 (gas responsible for damaging the ozone layer)

At the basis of these results there is "the commitment of a capillary network of branded collectors who collected the oil from around 103,000 sites including workshops and industries, distributed throughout the country, and of the two regeneration companies that give their decisive contribution to closing the circle".

"Italy is one of the countries in Europe, in this case in the world, which has a high recycling capacity, and this was born out of attention to local levels, to differentiated collection; it was born from the initiative to do better that we are already able to do. We are a country that has no raw materials, a country that makes ingenuity its strength. Well, I think Conou is the demonstration of how something important for the country can be built, which brings us to excel in Europe", commented the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin.

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