Depending on the age, design, intended use and location, transformers and high voltage equipment can be filled with a range of different insulating fluids. During its life in the transformer or equipment the oil undergoes electrical stress and eventually wears out. Life expectancy can be as long as 30+ years in some cases.
Despite being electrically, physically or chemically stressed, used transformer oils are relatively clean (compared with other lubricants) and are mostly excellent candidates for re-refining, regeneration or direct reuse. In particular used transformer oil can be used as a feedstock for re-refining processes that produce a base oil (and transformer oil) with properties comparable base oils produced from crude oil feedstocks.
Transformer oil disposal therefore need not occur to the point where the used oil is destroyed, because in most cases it can be recovered. Except for oil highly concentrated with PCB (which should undergo removal and disposal), used transformer oil can avoid disposal in favour of reuse.
While mineral oils are still used extensively in transformers, the use of non-mineral esters as insulating and heat transfer fluids is on the rise. Like mineral oil, their handling and disposal requires special attention. Benzoil handles the following fluids:
- Mineral oil (e.g. Superfine, Diala, Nytro Libra)
- Natural esters (e.g. FR3, BIOTEMP, NeuGen)
- Synthetic esters (e.g. Envirotemp 200, MIDEL 7131)
- Silicone fluids (e.g. Dow Corning 561)
- Aromatic oils (e.g. Jarylec, Dow C4, PXE and Faradol)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (e.g. Aroclor, Askarel, Chlophen, No-Flamol, Phenoclor)
We are experts at transformer oil removal regardless of whether the oil is to be drained from assets or is located in tanks or drums. Many of the removal projects we have executed have been in sensitive or remote sites.
See our information on transformers for more on PCB oil management and our transformer specific capabilities.