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3.5.4 Water and Sediment.  Water in oil may cause unstable
flame or flameout.  Sediment may cause fuel system blockage and
accelerated wear.  Excessive amounts of these must not be
If the waste oil collection procedure described
earlier is followed, no difficulty should be encountered during
3.5.5 Chemical Contamination.  Due to the uncontrollable
nature of individual practice in waste oil collection,
contamination by undesirable chemicals may still be possible.
The following simple methods may be used to periodically
determine the quality of the waste oil.
(a) Copper Corrosion Test. Maintain the oil at 50C
(122F) and immerse a well polished sample copper strip for 3 hours. The
relative corrosiveness of the oil is determined by the extent of tarnishing
of the strip.
For example, according to ASTM Specification D130, Detection
of Copper Corrosion from Petroleum Products by the Copper Strip Method, the
maximum allowable tarnish designation for commercial grade No. 1 and No. 2
fuel oils is 3, and no maximum is specified for heavier oils.  A tarnishing
value of 4 was reported from occasional tests of the waste oil generated in
the San Diego and Norfolk areas.  No adverse experience from these oils has
been reported however.
(b) Copper Wire Test.  The undesirable contaminants found in
waste oils are primarily chlorinated compounds.  This test will determine
the acceptable level of chlorine in the waste oil.
A clean copper wire is heated in a clear, blue gas flame to red
heat until no green shows in the flame.  The wire is dipped while still hot
into a sample of waste oil and then put back into the flame.
If the flame
turns green the oil has unacceptable levels of chlorine.
For practice, a
blend of 1 percent trichloroethane in DFM or other distillate fuel may be
used as an example of an oil which fails this test.
The oil sample should
be purged of any sodium chloride prior to the test by washing with
If an oil fails this test, it is probably due to improper
It can be salvaged by blending it into known quality oil so
that it becomes acceptable or is disposed of in accordance with NAVSUP
Publication 4500, Consolidated Hazardous Item List.
3.5.6 Sulfur Content.  Maximum allowable sulfur in oil is
regulated by local authorities (e.g., 0.5 percent in California). The main
ingredients of waste oil (e.g., JP-8, JP-5, F-76, lubricating oil) are
primarily low sulfur materials.  Therefore, the sulfur content of waste
oils is usually low.  Occasional determination of the sulfur content in
waste oil would be adequate.
A sufficient overview of the waste oil properties can be achieved
if testing is performed once or twice each month for a 6-month period.
Although the physical/chemical properties of the waste oil may vary
considerably between shore activities, the properties should remain fairly
uniform for any one given activity.
If the above properties are known, the
waste oil is then somewhat predictable and necessary adjustments for
burning and blending can be properly accomplished.


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