Let’s imagine oil as a set of certain molecular chains of the same type. During operation, due to the influence of many factors: time, contact with air and moisture, the effect of electromagnetic fields and electric discharges, these chains are destroyed, transformed, form new chemical bonds and elements. Simply put, in the oil appears something that differs in molecular structure from the original! Naturally, to return the molecular structure to its original state, many physicochemical transformations must be carried out, and the entire process must be selectively affected, only affecting those molecular structures that need to be “corrected,” while affecting the “right” molecules. To date, there is no technology to do it quickly and cheaply! And with this we must accept.
What is the solution? And it was suggested to us by nature itself. The fact is that “irregular” molecular structures formed molecules of more branched forms (unsaturated hydrocarbons), as well as gum and asphaltenes, which also differ in their heavier molecular composition. Now if we could separate the “right” molecular structures from “wrong”, we could solve our problem of transformer oil processing. Natural resources that can solve the problem of regeneration of used (used) oils are various sorbents. There are a huge number of types (brands) under different names: activated clay, palygorskite, bentonite, zeolite, etc. In fact, it is either specially activated suitable grades of clays and coals, or products of volcanic origin, and sometimes artificially created. Actually, the essence of the solution of the problem is simple in understanding: it is the sorting of molecular structures. To solve such problems to date, there are technologies such as the use of molecular sieves, selective absorption and the like … Just the use of such technologies underlies modern methods of regeneration (reduction) of oils. And it’s not just about transformer oils, these methods are effective for such oils as industrial, vacuum, hydraulic, turbine …
And finally, we came to the most important issue-it’s material. To date, there is a material sense of the application of modern methods of oil regeneration. Naturally, it is necessary to calculate the material balance in each specific case. And the profitability of the process will depend on many factors. First of all, the main reason for the regeneration of oils is the relatively high price of new oil, and considering the volumes for large transformers, for example, 15 … 20 tons, a considerable amount is obtained, which must be laid out. A low price for the disposal of old oil, along with the high price of the new oil, creates a fairly tangible difference, which makes it possible to spend part of this difference on the very process of regeneration.
Let’s look at a more realistic example (in figures): the cost of a new transformer oil T-750 (I quote prices in dollars because nothing lasts forever, but for some reason, the dollar remains …) – $ 1500 / ton. To hand over the oil for recycling is possible at $ 350 / t, therefore we have a difference of $ 1150, which we are going to spend on the process of recovery (regeneration) of the oil.