Puraglobe Outlines Group III Plans

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Puraglobe Outlines Group III Plans

Fresh off its launch of Group III production at its used oil rerefinery in Troeglitz, Germany, Puraglobe outlined its marketing and used oil feedstock collection plans in an interview with Lube Report.

Puraglobe President and CEO Andreas Schueppel said in an email that the company performed its Group III start-up in mid-June after an upgrade that converted 50 percent of its capacity at the location from Group II to Group III. The plant now has 50,000 t/y of Group II and 50,000 t/y of Group III production capacity.

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After a very successful project phase – in time and in budget – in the cold and hot commissioning phase we could start up the unit in less than one day, he said. Cold commissioning includes dry and wet commissioning. During the dry portion, tests are run without solvents or process fluids. Wet commissioning occurs when water or solvents are introduced in the systems and subsystems for testing purposes. Hot commissioning is the introduction of design process fluids.

Schueppel said Puraglobe processes about 250,000 tons of used oil per year at its rerefinery in Germany. We run our own used oil collection in Germany by collecting about 25 percent of the needed volume, he noted. The remaining volume is acquired from other collectors within Germany, but also throughout Europe, from where we are importing a significant amount.

Puraglobes feedstock includes a wide variety of types of lubricants. That means we are able to convert the average used oil quality into premium Group III base oils, Schueppel explained. There is no pre-selection necessary. Our used oil tank farm is feeding both [Troeglitz] rerefineries – the one to produce Group II base oils and the second to produce Group III base oils – from the same feed tanks.

On the marketing side, the company is introducing its Group III base oils to the market under the Purebase series name. We produce up to 10 different grades of base oils in order to fulfill the requests of our customers, he said, adding that the company has already sold a big amount of the produced [Group III] volume to the market, mainly to our existing customer base in Europe. We ship it by trucks.

He said that while the Troeglitz rerefinery can produce rerefined Group III of traditional viscosity grade cuts such as 4, 6 and 8 centiStoke, it also has the flexibility to produce lighter and heavier cuts. Because we have invested in the extension of our tank farm – 20 plus tanks – we are now able to also store small volumes of different qualities for special customer requests, Schueppel noted. He emphasized the company is producing straight cuts. That means that each customer who is ordering a very narrow cut or a very special viscosity gets delivered a straight-produced material, not a blend, he explained.

The company seeks to market the rerefined Group III globally. He noted the company is the worldwide exclusive licensee of two technology packages from UOP – Hylube to produce Group II and HyLubeSAT to produce Group III base oils. With the successful start-up of HyLubeSAT in Germany, we are now focused on investing into more units on a global basis by using the same technology, he said. That means that we will become a very reliable supplier of Group III base oils for our international customer base. It means as a consequence that we want to market the material globally.

Puralube and NexLube Tampa in August 2016 formed joint venture Puraglobe Florida LLC, which plans to complete and commission NexLubes API Group III rerefinery in Florida by the end of 2018. Thats expected to have production capacity in the range of 57,000 t/y.

Puraglobe rerefinery

Photo courtesy of Puraglobe

Schueppel said that after several weeks of production at the Troeglitz site, the company can see that the quality of the Group III base oil produced fulfills very high requirements. It is our target to get official OEM approvals from car manufacturers soon to sell the material for use in automotive lubricants as well as in metalworking fluids for the industrial side, he said. Im sure that we will see lots of finished lubricants based on rererefined base stocks with the highest quality in the near future.

Global parent company Puralube Inc. is based in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Its 100 percent-owned subsidiary for Europe is Elsteraue, Germany-headquartered Puraglobe Holding GmbH, which serves as parent of all the companys European activities. Puralube GmbH is the production company in Germany.

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