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This paper presents the history of the development of self-contained, mobile, high-volume, engine coolant recycling by reverse osmosis (R/O). It explains the motivations, created by government regulatory agencies, to minimize the liability of waste generators who produce waste engine coolant by providing an engine coolant recycling service at the customer's location. Recycling the used engine coolant at the point of origin minimizes the generators' exposure to documentation requirements, liability, and financial burdens by greatly reducing the volume of used coolant that must be hauled from the generator's property. It describes the inherent diffculties of recycling such a highly contaminated, inconsistent input stream, such as used engine coolant, by reverse osmosis. The paper reports how the difficulties were addressed, and documents the state of the art in mobile R/O technology. Reverse osmosis provides a purified intermediate fluid that is reinhibited for use in automotive cooling systems. The paper offers a review of experiences in various automotive applications, including light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles operating on many types of fuel. The authors conclude that mobile embodiments of R/O coolant recycling technology provide finished coolants that perform equivalently to new coolants as demonstrated by their ability to protect vehicles from freezing, corrosion damage, and other cooling system related problems.
reverse osmosis, hazardous waste, engine coolant, antifreeze, recycling
CEO, Toxguard Fluid Technologies, Irvine, CA
Director, The Penray Companies, Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL