Material flow analysis and market survey for securing the disposal of waste oils (FKZ: 204 31 322)

This research project on behalf of the Federal German Environment Agency had two main objectives: (1) To conduct a material flow analysis of the German waste oil flow adapted to the current situation and (2) to analyse the German waste oil recovery market, possible recent market changes and the potential influences of different factors.

To determine the German waste oil mass flows the German Ministry of Environment applies a calculation model which is based on a backwards approach (“Rückrechnungsmodell”). The performed analysis of this model revealed that it is suitable for the calculation of the German waste oil material flows. Aiming at a further improvement of the approach some elements of the model were updated and adapted to recent developments.

During the market analysis, the basic economic parameters like supply, demand, and prices were considered. It was analysed how the changing market conditions affect the waste oil material flows and the recovery of waste oil. Furthermore, it was examined whether the given circumstances are sufficient to maintain a secure and sustainable waste oil disposal.

The results showed that the German waste oil market performed well and is flexible regarding price signals of the respective (primary) reference products. During the timeframe investigated (2000-2004) an increasing majority of the available waste oil was used to produce secondary mineral oil products. 30% of the available waste oil was subject to energy recovery operations. During this time, the waste oil ordinance (“Altölverordnung”) and the directive to promote processing of waste oil into base oil (“Förderrichtlinie”) entered into force causing significant investments in waste oil treatment facilities. The reliability of the future waste oil management is therefore secured, and sufficient capacity reserves are available in all waste oil related management areas.


Knut Sander