For the past 20 years, the economies of scale dictated that “bigger is better,” both for refineries and for the waste oil re-refining industry. To keep large re-refining plants running at full capacity, the waste oil feedstock collection area covers hundreds, even thousands of miles requiring whole fleets of trucks, trains and boats. This is costly and produces high CO2 emissions.
In a low-carbon economy, it will be important to work with smaller and more efficient plants and at the same time reduce the environment footprint of used and waste oils. In the re-refining industry, past economics was to build bigger plants with high transport costs. New technology permits the building of smaller profitable plants with smaller environmental footprint.