Alternative Porous Media and Designs for Automotive Oil Filters 2013-01-0492
Alternative automotive engine oil filtration devices are described herein, aiming at alleviating the environmental issues caused by conventional one-piece, spin-on, throwaway filters. The spin-on feature has been retained in these novel filters, to facilitate retrofitting, however provisions to dismantle the filter have been incorporated to allow for periodic replacement of the filter element (cartridge). The filter element is made of ceramic powder and, upon replacement, it may be treated and reused as such, or it may be crushed, treated and remanufactured from the recycled powder. In the process, the entirety of the used motor oil may be retrieved, treated and reused, thus conserving energy and resources, minimizing waste streams and, most importantly, preventing environmental ground-water contamination. The ceramic filter element (made of silicon carbide, cordierite or mullite) is extruded in the typical configuration of a honeycomb-shaped monolith, with adjacent channels plugged at alternate ends. The element is housed in an easy-to-dismantle casing. The filter element may be replaced at every vehicle oil change, but not the casing which is intended to last the lifetime of the engine. The ceramic elements can be manufactured to possess high-filtration efficiency characteristics and have large contaminant accumulation capacity. Herein an overview of the design of these filters is presented, and results of selected tests attesting to their performance are included.