Recycling used antifreeze makes sense for two reasons: 1) It is cost-effective, and 2) It saves resources. Ethylene glycol, the primary active ingredient in antifreeze, is produced from natural gas, which is a finite, non-renewable resource. For businesses that use a lot of antifreeze, like automobile repair shops, setting up an antifreeze recycling program can significantly reduce management costs and lessen the amount of new materials purchase...d. Using new technology, these businesses are recycling antifreeze on site and reconditioning it with additives at a cost that is significantly lower than the cost of purchasing new antifreeze.
Antifreeze recycling involves two steps:
- Removing contaminants such as emulsified oils and heavy metals either by filtration, distillation, reverse osmosis, or ion exchange.
- Restoring critical antifreeze properties with additives. Additives typically contain chemicals that raise and stabilize pH, inhibit rust and corrosion, reduce water scaling, and slow the breakdown of ethylene glycol.
New technology lets generators of spent antifreeze recycle antifreeze on site by removing contaminants and reconditioning it with additives, at a cost that is significantly lower than the cost of purchasing new antifreeze. Another option for recycling antifreeze includes power flushing the radiator, restoring the coolant, and topping off the vehicle with fresh coolant in a closed loop. Recycling saves resources since a primary ingredient, ethylene glycol, is produced from natural gas, a non-renewable resource.