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Recycled Motor Oils

by John Wesley, CEO of Universal Lubricants

Every summer, it’s the same story—soaring gas prices strike a national nerve as time at the pump pinches our wallets. And every summer, Americans more intensely question our reliance on finite petroleum fuel and the many undemocratic regimes that control its reserves. “Is there an alternative?” we wonder, “Is there a better option for our financial system, for the planet?”

To that end, consider another, often forgotten, petroleum-based product that every car requires—motor oil. Every year, U.S. drivers depend on approximately 1.3 billion gallons of the substance to promote healthy engine life, but far too much of it—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 200 million gallons—is dumped illegally each year. Such consumer behavior is environmentally and economically regrettable, especially as recent technological advancements, the culmination of incredible R&D efforts, have transformed motor oil into a veritable renewable resource.

With state-of-the-art machinery and facilities, Universal Lubricants’ re-refinery in Wichita, KS, empowers auto enthusiasts everywhere to recycle used motor oil, restoring it to “good as new” quality. The result, ECO ULTRA green motor oil, can be resold at about the same price per quart as conventional motor oil.

As a product, motor oil is approximately 85% oil and 15% additives (detergent, anti-foaming stabilizers, etc.) and it is the latter 15% which breaks down by design as contaminants accumulate over time, necessitating oil changes. As the oil molecules themselves retain their chemical compositions, spent motor oil simply needs to be cleaned (stripping away contaminants and the worn out additives), re-refined into API approved base oil, and then infused with a fresh additive package, to transform what was once thought of as a waste into a top-grade product.

The concept of re-refining motor oil is not a new one; for years, manufacturers toyed with an “Acid/Clay Process” in which used motor oil was treated with sulfuric acid to dissolve contaminants by forming sludge, subsequently drawn out for disposal. Followed by a clay filtration, the motor oil was cleaned relatively well, but failed to meet the exacting standards of many. Again, American environmentalists, scientists and car lovers asked, “can’t we do better?”

Universal Lubricants, pioneering the green motor oil revolution, endeavored to design a more sophisticated re-refining process, actually treating used motor oil in the same manner as crude. The company does so by implementing a sequence of four steps: (1) flash distillation, removing water, fuel and other contaminants; (2) wiped film evaporation, eliminating metals and heavier particles; (3) hydro treatment, refreshing the oil molecules; and (4) a final distillation, eradicating any trace contaminants lingering in the stock and separating the base II oil into separate grades, ready for blending with a fresh additive package and re-bottling. With the science of re-refining improved multifold, so too the quality of the end product, ECO ULTRA motor oils. ECO ULTRA’s become the trusted choice for optimal engine performance, but also environmental stewardship—the entire process of re-refining motor oil uses 89% less energy than refining oil from virgin crude.

Such advancements have revved the green motor oil revolution to full force, and across America green motor oils are beginning to line the shelves of auto garages, dealerships and commercial retailers. Yet again, one company takes its commitment to sustainability above and beyond, distinguishing itself as the only “close-loop” manufacturer of recycled oil in the U.S. Universal Lubricants collects, re-refines, blends, packages and redistributes its own oil—never losing guardianship within the chain. This cycle is infinitely repeatable and as such, is the most sustainable car care practice in existence.

However, in such a swiftly changing industry with rapidly progressing technology capabilities, we shouldn’t be surprised that the threats to our advancements adapt an equally rapid pace. Recently, bio-based motor oils have been touted as a “green-er” alternative to recycled petroleum based products. Upon closer examination however, that claim comes into question.

Made in part from the animal fat of beef slaughter byproducts, bio-based motor oils have the potential to derail elegant re-refining processes, in much the same manner as a cooking oil clogs a kitchen sink. Except this time, much more is at stake—expensive capital, jobs, and car performance, and a commitment to truly, not superficially, bettering America’s environmental and economic futures. What’s more, in an increasingly interconnected world, it’s not only the motor oil industry which will be affected by the entry of bio-based products into the oil inventory. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that as of January 2011, food prices around the globe had risen to historic highs, without signs of abatement in sight. With increasing stress on global food supplies, social and political dilemmas abound from implementing potential food sources in industrial applications.

At present and realistically for the foreseeable future, America is a gas-fueled society. Yet, everyday American citizens are actively taking steps to reduce our dependency on foreign reserves; scientists and environmentalists cooperating to develop green technology and processes, companies building sustainability practices into their corporate objectives, and you, the American driver, by choosing ECO ULTRA, at every oil change. The average five-quart oil change using ECO ULTRA helps preserve our natural resources while reducing America’s need for foreign oil by two barrels. So as you visit the gas pump this summer, remember, each and every one of us can already do better. We can all choose ECO ULTRA.


Plant Based Lubricating Oils – Biodegradable, and Ashless

G-Oil Garden and Recreational 2-Cycle Green Engine Oil is a patent-pending superior performance 2-cycle engine oil made from American -grown base oils that uses the power of nanotechnology to provide ultimate protection for air-cooled 2-cycle engines. The advanced G-Oil formula does not sacrifice viscosity or durability to be safe for the Earth.

Advanced Technology for a Truly “Green” Oil

G-Oil is proven to perform equally or better than synthetic oils, including top brands. Ash content is proven lower than past products that have been marketed as “ash-less.” You no longer need to choose between a good price, a clean engine and high performance.

G-Oil replaces the petrochemical base of traditional oil products with an “ultimate biodegradable” bio-base. At a molecular level, the G-Oil bio-base material is unique for its low temperature of operation and high degree of stability. The G-Oil base can operate at negative 40- degrees Fahrenheit. Previously sold bio-based products were limited to use at temperatures over approximately positive 40-degrees Fahrenheit. Further, the G-Oil base material is stable, showing little or no reactivity with additives, allowing for easy enhancement of its natural properties just like petrochemical oils and lubricants.

G-Oil 2 Cycle Green Engine Oil does not utilize a solvent to increase gasoline miscibility and offers a significant safety advantage since the product has a flash point of 365-degrees Fahrenheit and is not classified as flammable or combustible according to OSHA or D.O.T. regulations.

Environmentally Safe and Ultimate Biodegradability

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 40% of our nation’s oil pollution comes from the improper disposal of used motor oil by do-it-yourselfers. One five quart oil change, improperly disposed, of can create an oil slick on the surface of ten acres, render five acres unusable for planting for decades, and contaminate one million gallons of water. G-Oil is 100% biodegradable, achieving an Ultimate Biodegradability ranking from the ASTM standard D5864 that defines “ultimate biodegradability” as a product that is rapidly absorbed (eaten) by microorganisms.

Additionally, G-Oil Garden & Recreational 2-Cycle green Engine Oil is the “green alternative” and meets and exceeds Motorcycle API TC and Husqvarna Chain Saw requirements. This no-smoke formula contains stabilized technology to improve fuel stability in a variety of general purpose equipment and personal recreational engines including motorcycles, lawn and garden equipment, snowmobiles and chain saws. Even the packaging is “green”: G-Oil bottles are 100% recyclable and the labels are printed with soy ink on biodegradable paper.

About Green Earth Technologies, Inc.

Green Earth Technologies produces “G”-Branded superior-performing “totally green” products made entirely from American-grown base oils. Their products harness the power of patent-pending nanotechnology and dehydrogenation. These technologies enable customers to “do their part” for the environment without having to sacrifice performance or value. Green Earth Technologies prides itself on its perfect four-zero National Fire Protection Association safety rating, which measures chemical flammability and reactivity. This means that products from Green Earth Technologies are non-toxic, not flammable, have no detrimental reactivity with other chemicals and are safe on the environment.


Heated Vegetable Oil Fuel System Facts

Our buddy Melvin Martin sent us this fact sheet he’s written for his demonstration of his veggie powered truck at the Local Living Festival in Canton NY

Toshiba Exif JPEGToshiba Exif JPEG

Heated Vegetable Oil Fuel System Facts

Heat in tank causes condensation/water. Water in fuel causes bacteria. Heat in tank can cause “waxing” or “drying” which = plugged pipes.

Too much heat on filter isn’t good. Diesel fuel loses its lubricity when hot. Cold vegetable oil is thick. Therefore heat your fuel only when you need to.

Injector pumps have very tight tolerances. Thick oil can seize metal with tight tolerances, especially at high speeds and pressure. Cold diesel in injector pump = cold injector pump even if the engine is hot. Hot vegetable oil pumped into a cold pump = cold oil = thick oil = possible seizing or severe wear of pump.

This truck is equipped with a dual tank vegetable oil fuel system

One tank/fuel system is designed for diesel fuel. The other one is specifically designed for running used vegetable oil.

It starts on pure diesel fuel. When it’s hot enough, it can be switched over to pure vegetable oil. A few minutes before shut-down, switch it back to pure diesel. The basis changes from original is a second tank and fuel system, and a method to switch between the two fuel systems. The vegetable oil fuel system is heated with engine coolant and has larger sized pipes and filters.


Do’s and Don’ts:

Do switch to diesel before shut-down and run on diesel on restart until the engine is fully warm. It gives easier starts, less fuel system wear from cold oil, less gumming of engine, and less gumming, sticking, and corrosion of fuel system parts from prolonged exposure to vegetable oil.

Don’t rev engine right after switching to vegetable oil until the injector pump has warmed up. Extreme pump wear can result even if the engine is hot.

Do use a strong dose of injector cleaner and lubrication fuel conditioner in the diesel system. Also consider using a anti-bacteria fuel conditioner.

Don’t spill vegetable oil without cleaning it up. In time it makes a terrible mess.

Do work the engine hard. Hard working engines run cleaner and have much less trouble with carbon buildup.

Don’t let the engine idle for extended periods of time, especially on vegetable oil.

Do enjoy the ride.

Don’t put dirty oil in your tank


The Down Side To Vegetable Oil

1. you can’t start the car or truck when it’s really cold out on it.

2. It can seize up your injector pump.

3. You have to have a diesel car or truck to make this work.


The Good side To Vegetable Oil

1. It saves you money on gas.

2. It’s fun to find out about how it really work’s.

3. Good for the diner’s to get rid off their old used oil in a good way


Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

We use this Nature’s Head Composting Toilet in our off grid installations. The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is the latest design, the best value, and the most reliable choice for portable, self contained, urine separating dry toilets — on the water, on the land, or on the road.

This toilet or head, (the marine term for toilet) was designed by two long time sailors who sought to create a more user friendly version than anything else on the market. While we designed our product to withstand the harsh marine environment, it can be used anywhere you need a toilet, especially anywhere that plumbing or electricity is difficult or non-existent — on RVs or campers, in vacation cabins, workshops, barns, yurts, even trucks. Most importantly, this toilet doesn’t have the foul odors associated with all other holding tank systems.

The low volume air circulation fan built into the head provides the added benefit of recycling the air in your bathroom which helps make your whole environment smell better. Because it was originally designed for marine use, its rugged design and materials (all stainless hardware) it has been proven to be extremely durable no matter what your environment. $900 (Delivered, lower 48 states USA).

The Nature’s Head composting toilet is the best of all possible solutions for boat owners.

This composting toilet is completely self-contained, and can safely be used while cruising as well as in anchorages and in marinas. This is a no-hassle solution to a long-standing problem for cruisers, for racers, and for weekend boaters. Designed specifically for the tough marine environment, this unit will stand up to years of trouble-free service.

USCG Certified!

The Nature’s Head composting toilet meets all “No Discharge” regulations and is a U.S Coast Guard Approved type III marine head. USCG Certification

No Odors!

Because our toilet separates the liquids from the solids it doesn’t smell bad. It’s when you mix the urine and the solids that you get the really bad odors associated with sewage. When working properly the toilet will have a slight earthy smell when open. Unlike any other type of head, the longer you let a composting toilet sit, the better it will smell when it’s time to empty it.

High Capacity!

Because the liquids are not mixed with the solid wastes you get an exceptional amount of uses before you need to empty the unit. For example; a couple using their boat or cabin on the weekends may go an entire summer without having to empty the solid’s tank. The front liquid tank is approximately 2.2 gallons and will need to be emptied more frequently. We empty ours into the marina toilet.

No Plumbing, No Water!

Nature’s Head is a “dry toilet.” This is because it uses no water for flushing. That means no plumbing to attach. no need for external water source to flush (yes you can use it when on the hard), and no thru-hull required.

No Pump-Outs

Finding a pump-out, idle in line waiting for a pump out, pay for a pump-out — you’ll no longer have to deal with these inconveniences.

Less Weight!

One gallon of water weighs approximately 8.3 pounds. If, for instance, a small holding tank holds about 15 gallons, this adds 124 pounds of weight, much of which is water used to flush.

Need More Space?

Holding tanks that usually fit under a berth, eliminate valuable storage space. Nature’s Head is completely self- contained. Remove that holding tank and say goodbye to having 15 or more gallons of smelly waste under your bed!

Guests Aboard?

Every boat owner has had to deal with reluctant guests who are uncomfortable with operating a head (“turn this valve, pump ‘n’ times, don’t put TP in the bowl, close the valve”) The unit is so simple to use, that no longer will your guests feel intimidated. And you will never have to deal with a plugged up unit after your guests have disembarked — there’s nothing to get plugged up.

No Porta-Potties to Empty!

Many marinas prohibit emptying porta-potties at their facilities. No more smelly portable-potties at the end of your long weekend. The longer a composting toilet sits the more time it has to do its job.


Out toilet is very economical to operate; there are NO chemicals to provision. Two gallons of peat moss is all it takes. Alternative sources of composting enhancers are sawdust, or dried leaves.

Easy Installation!

The Nature’s Head was designed specifically for marine installations. Easy to install; the unit attaches to the floor with two small l brackets. There is one ventilation hose to run outside and one 12volt power hook-up for a small computer type fan. Or run completely powerless by running the vent hose to a solar vent.

Easy Empty!

When it’s time to empty your toilet simply flip the two latches on the sides and lift the upper section up a few inches. Put the lid on the liquid bottle and lift it out of its holder. To empty the main tank un-hook the 12 volt power connector and the vent hose and then slide the upper section off its open ended hinge. Undo the 2 thumb screws on the base and it’s ready to empty. Because there are no liquids in the main tank, even full it is never heavy. The unit is sized so that a kitchen garbage bag will go over the end of the main tank. Simply flip it over and you’re done. There is no need to clean the tank when you empty it, any left-over matter will help start the composting process all over again.



It doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican, it’s hard to disagree with this book. We read it and recommend it! – Steve Spence, Director,



October 17, 2007 – As oil prices reach record highs, it’s not just in the consumer pocketbook where war is being waged.

In, Freedom from Oil: How the Next President Can End the United States’ Oil Addiction (McGraw-Hill, October, 2007), author and Brookings Institution scholar David Sandalow writes that our current reliance on oil poses economic, environmental, and national security threats to the country:

1. Oil dependence strengthens Al Queda and other Islamic terrorists;

2. Oil dependence strengthens oil-exporting nations that oppose US interests;

3. Oil dependence threatens our men and women in uniform;

4. Oil dependence undermines democracy and good governance around the world;

5. Oil dependence is central to environmental degradation and contributes significantly to global warming;

6. Oil supplies are vulnerable to natural disasters, war, and terrorist attacks.

Writes Sandalow, America must take steps to counter the deeply entrenched use of oil in our society using a powerful combination of already-present technologies and far-reaching agendas, among them:

· Build millions of plug-in hybrid cars that have traditional engines and connect to the electric grid;

· Make competitively-priced biofuels available to every driver;

· Transform fuel efficiency standards to make sure the US fleet helps lead the world; and

· Transform federal transportation policy to level the playing field for mass transit and promote telecommuting.

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) calls Freedom from Oil “Required reading for all concerned citizens and elected officials.”

Nobel Prize winner Al Gore says of the author, “When David Sandalow writes about energy and the environment, we should all pay close attention.”

Sandalow, a scholar at The Brookings Institution, worked for the Clinton/Gore White House, and spent much of 2005 traveling with Gore and working with him on the lecture that is now part of An Inconvenient Truth.

The book has a foreword from Senator Richard Lugar, as well as endorsements from General Wesley Clark, James Woolsey, Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton and former head of the CIA, and Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Sandalow is based in Washington, DC and is available for interviews.

Freedom from Oil

Author: David Sandalow

October, 2007

HC, $26.95

For review copies, interviews, and more information, contact:

Ann Pryor, Senior Publicity Manager

McGraw-Hill Companies

2 Penn Plaza, 12th Floor

New York, New York 10121

212.904.4078 tel

212.904.4091 fax


Building Soil Health for Nutritious Food

We have learned over the years that the quality of the soil greatly affects the quality of the food being grown. Intensive vegetable gardening requires intensive soil work, to maintain nutrients & tilth. Carbon / Nitrogen ratios, pH level, and ratios of nitrogen. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium and trace minerals are all very important, and vary between climates (dry to wet), and soil types, even within a single state. Different crops need different things to ensure nutrition. We have learned how to make quality compost, and use it sparingly, with regular additions of organic fertilizer including seed meal, dolomite lime, kelp meal and bone meal. However, you don’t know what to add, or how much to add, without a quality soil sample (yearly at the minimum, depending on climate and crop rotation), and the understanding of how to interpret the findings of that report.

One of the first to understand the relationships between soil nutrients and food nutrients was William Albrecht. Through comprehensive testing, he developed a number of theories that have held true for decades, indicating the better we do at providing quality food for our plants, the batter they can provide quality food for us. Just eating “organic” isn’t good enough.

“William A. Albrecht (1888–1974) PhD, Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, was the foremost authority on the relation of soil fertility to human health and earned four degrees from the University of Illinois. As emeritus Professor of Soils at the University of Missouri he saw a direct link between soil quality, food quality and human health. He drew direct connections between poor quality forage crops, and ill health in livestock and from this developed a formula for ideal ratios of cations in the soil, the Base Cation Saturation Ratio. While he did not discover cation exchange in the soil as is sometimes supposed, he may have been the first to associate it with colloidal clay particles.”

To learn more about these relationships, so you can also grow better quality food, we offer the following resources:

One of my favorites, and currently free on Kindle, and Kindle Cloud Reader (no Kindle needed, just a PC):

Organic Gardener’s Composting, by Steve Solomon

Additional excellent references:

Soil Fertility & Animal Health (The Albrecht Papers, Vol II )

Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System

Biocycle Guide to the Art and Science of Composting

Let it Rot!: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting (Third Edition) (Storey’s Down-To-Earth Guides)

Composting;: A study of the process and its principles, (A Rodale organic living paperback)

The Waste Products of Agriculture


Composting toilets

Composting toilets are an excellent way to recover the nutrients lost in a typical flush system, and reduce water consumption. 40% of a household’s water use is used for flushing toilets. By implementing a composting toilet, you reduce your water consumption, develop another source of soil tilth and fertilizer, and reduce the load on your current septic system. Some composting toilets compost in the toilet, others in a separate container, either attached, or separate. Our Nature’s Head is an example of a integrated toilet / composter, as is the SunMar. The Jenkins sawdust toilet is one example of a split system (you empty the bucket into a compost bin). The Clivus Multrum is also a split system, but the toilet is connected to the composting tank with a pipe.


Improving soil a necessity if we are to sustain ourselves

Ingham believes that traditional soil additives such as chemical and salt-based fertilizers, ammonia and lime are damaging our soils and diminishing our ability to produce abundant crops. “Stop killing your soils with your chemical addiction,” she adamantly stated and added that “what we need to do is add large amounts of well-made compost to our soils to reintroduce beneficial organisms. If you are trying to grow a certain crop and your soil needs more fungi the compost or tea can be made to support that need. If your crop needs more beneficial organisms a batch is made to meet that need. If you want to improve a home garden or flower beds, emerging orchards or young forests the same holds true.” Dr. Charles Cubbage, semi-retired environmental consultant and retired toxics expert for the State of Michigan, was an attendee and not shy to say “Michigan has a great opportunity to benefit from recognizing the importance of soil ecology and the benefits we can reap from improving our soils because of our niche farms.”


Clean, efficient, biomass fueled heat & hot water

Food, water, shelter…when you think of it, our needs for survival are quite simple. In America we have been so privileged that we take the basics for granted. No one goes hungry or thirsty in this land; and no one suffers from lack of shelter.

Or so we thought.

Many of our foundations have developed cracks in recent years. This reflects the realities of the world, or perhaps recognition that our sense of security was of equal parts fact and illusion. Considering these new realities, several conclusions have become very clear:

1. Our natural resources are limited.

2. We are part of a world economy that is no longer as strongly dominated by the U.S.

3. In all our decisions we must be sensitive to the impact on our environment.

The products of HS-TARM are called the “Warmth Machines” because they take wood and transform it into comfort and security that can make your home a warm sanctuary from the rest of the world. Most importantly, they accomplish this in a way that is considerate of your need to manage your money while being sensitive to what is best for our environment.

Tarm USA, Inc. is the North American Importer of the Baxi/HS-Tarm wood, multi-fuel, and wood pellet/corn stoker boilers. Tarm USA, Inc. is a family business owned by the Nichols family in Lyme, NH.

We have been deeply involved with wood central heating units since 1973. Our experience installing, servicing, and operating wood boilers enables us to provide you with expert technical support and knowledge to answer your questions about the installation and operation of HS-Tarm boilers.

Tarm USA, Inc. believes strongly in the benefits of using renewable, C02 neutral fuels in place of fossil fuels to heat our homes. We invite you to join us in being part of THE SOLUTION to help in the reduction of global warming.

HS-Tarm boilers burn wood, wood pellets, or corn (renewable resources) as efficiently and as cleanly as possible. Burning these fuels adds no net carbon to our ecosystems, thus making no contribution to global warming.

Burning wood, wood pellets, or corn in an HS-Tarm boiler gives you the ability to protect yourself from volatile fuel prices, and to reduce your reliance upon foreign oil. HS-Tarm boilers allow you the flexibility to choose a fuel depending upon it’s price and availability in your area.

We invite you to visit us here in Lyme, NH to see operating boilers and to get a first hand look at the efficient operation of these superbly designed and crafted units.

Tarm USA, Inc. stocks all boilers and parts in Lyme, NH. We have most all parts in stock for all HS-Tarm boilers sold in the U.S.A since 1975.


Pressing your own fuel from crops

Our friends and neighbors the Martin’s have their oil press up and running. They are pressing oil from oil seed crops, and experimenting with a variety of crop types to determine the best crops for our climate and geography. Pictures can be found in our photo album, and movies can be found at:

Movie 1, 3.2M
Movie 2, 61.8M
Movie 3, 49.2M
Movie 4, 12.1M
Movie 5, 9.3M

Additionally, Melvin and Luray are working with some new >1 watt LED’s. Melvin had this to say:

We got some new LEDs to replace the old ones we installed last winter. The old ones were not right from the day we got them, and since, they have lost their light output. The new ones act like they are supposed to, they are many times brighter, they have a much wider viewing angle, cheaper per amount of light output, more efficient, and give a nice white light. As you can see in the picture, these new LEDs need to have a big heat sink. So far we really like them.