Did you know there are many options to consider when selecting thermal fluids?

  1. Temperature is Everything – match your bulk temperature but also consider film temperature, heater type
  2. Controlling Oxidation – high temperature air exposure can destroy the wrong fluid quickly
  3. Maximizing Fluid Life – short-term or long-term use – invest wisely
  4. Availability is Critical – thermal fluids are often critical to production – how long can you wait for your thermal fluid to ship?
  5. Reliable Service & Support – thermal fluids are maintenance-intensive, but can your vendor help you if there are problem

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Used Fluid and Drum Disposal

No matter which type of thermal fluid you use, you’ll have to replace it eventually. When that time comes, there are a few options for disposal or better yet, recycling.

First let’s focus on petroleum-based fluids.

Petroleum based thermal fluids can usually be mixed with other petroleum waste oils such as hydraulic fluids and lubricants. From there various programs are available to recycle or re-purpose these fluids.

There are often local options available but national companies such as Safety-Kleen or Waste Management have programs that will collect your fluid on site and take it to facilities where it’s blended with other waste oils for fuel or even re-refined back into a base-oil state for reuse in industrial or consumer products. In some cases, these companies will even pay for your waste oil.

Fluids commonly known as synthetic or chemical aromatic thermal fluids need to be handled a little differently. Often these fluids will be considered hazardous waste. Although some of these can be still be reclaimed, they do need to be segregated and dealt with according to local regulations for disposal.

Then there are miscellaneous fluid chemistries such as silicones and glycols. While not necessarily hazardous, these should generally be segregated as well and the manufacturer or a waste disposal company consulted for the best means of recycling or disposal.

Another question that often comes up after we deliver the new, replacement fluid is, “What do I do with the drums or totes?”

Typically used drums can be collected by local drum re-conditioners or recyclers, cleaned up and reused. Here are a few links for drum re-conditioners by state:

Here’s a more general list for a variety of states.

If you have any questions on used fluid or drum disposal please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Michael Bates, Technical Director

1-800-446-4910 ext. 111