Heating with recycled waste oil at UNAMA

Mon, 10/04/17

The UN assistance mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, has found a clever way to turn waste vehicle oil into heating fuel. Not only does this tackle the environmental issues relating to the disposal of used oil, it also improves working conditions for staff by making it easier to heat buildings more sustainably.

The building heater is located in the workshop and warms the 400 square meters workspace during the winter months when average temperatures reach around -10°C, consuming 6000 to 8000 liters of used oil. The use of waste oil in the place of purchased heating oil represents an annual saving of around $3,600.

Waste oils from engines, gears and hydraulics are drained into mobile oil drainers, from which the oil is fed into the heater, through leak-proof pipes to avoid spillage.

This achievement has enabled UNAMA to completely eliminate the risks associated with the disposal of waste oil with “R3 results”:

  • REDUCTION of dependence on yet more fossil fuels to generate heat,
  • REUSE of a pollutant in a more environmentally friendly process, and
  • RECYCLING old oil as it is used for the final time.

UNAMA’s Transport Workshop first introduced the waste oil heater back in 2012 and has resulted in numerous benefits including:

  • A cost free oil heater
  • Extremely low emissions due to efficient burning
  • Reduced administrative action required to procure heating oil or dispose of the waste oil products
  • Better workspace conditions for the staff operating the workshop
  • Minimal maintenance required by the mechanics
  • The technology is relatively low tech and economical - with the cost of the investment recovered over only three winters

When asked how the system was doing, UNAMA Environment Officer Deepak K.C told us that it was "operating perfectly."

Please visit the UNAMA website for more information.

Categories: Buildings, Energy, Waste