Design and Testing of a Novel Environmentally-Benign Automotive Oil Filter 2010-01-0272
This paper describes the design, construction and operation of a novel environmentally-friendly automotive oil filter. Whereas conventional paper media spin-on oil filters are inexpensive and easy to use, they are hard to recycle because of their rugged construction and dissimilar material contents. Used oil filters are disposed off at an annual rate of half a billion in the US alone. They typically end up in municipal waste streams, thereby creating both a solid waste issue and a ground waste contamination issue, as discarded filters invariably contain residual amounts of waste oil. To address these issues, the objective of this work has been to design an environmentally-friendly oil filter. Such a filter is composed of a permanent, but dismantable, filter housing and a replaceable cartridge. The cartridge is made of ceramic honeycomb which can be produced to possess excellent filtration efficiency. Upon replacement, the used ceramic cartridge may be readily crushed to recover all the contaminated used motor oil. The remaining ceramic powder may be treated and re-used. Prototypes were designed, constructed and tested using silicon carbide (SiC) filters, manufactured by Notox. The filtration efficiency of these filters was measured to be 89%, for contaminant particle size as small as 4 μm, whereas their backpressure was in line with conventional paper media filters.