Ecological and energetic assessment of re-refining waste oils to base oils: Substitution of primarily produced base oils including semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds

25th July 2017

GEIR is pleased to share with you the latest study “Ecological and energetic assessment of re-refining waste oils to base oils: Substitution of primarily produced base oils including semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds”, June 2017, IFEU (Nabil Abdalla, Horst Fehrenbach).

The purpose of this study is to provide an update of the life-cycle assessment study (LCA) from 2005 (IFEU, Fehrenbach) taking the most recent data into account. Considering the current state of technology, the original set of data has to be regarded as outdated taking the actual state of technical practice into account.

Moreover, the most relevant reason for this difference from the study of 2005 is the change concerning alternative utilization: In the early years of last decade, a relevant share of waste oil was used as fuel in cement works – and cement works predominantly use diverse types of coal as standard fuel and different kinds of waste. Substituting any type of coal consequently leads to extraordinary high credits – credits in favour of the cement work option. Today the cement work option is just of marginal relevance regarding the European practice of waste oil utilization. Logically the reference system has been adapted to the actually relevant one, which is treatment to fuel oil vs. re—refining (regeneration).

In summary, the study concludes that the regeneration of waste oil for the recovery of base oils leads to significant resource preservation and relief from environmental burdens. In addition, this study underlines the results of 2005 and enhances the previous conclusions, stating, that an advanced regeneration technology shall be the favoured way to keep waste oil as long as possible as high-graded material within the circular economy. In brief: this LCA supports the higher ranking of regeneration versus energy recovery according to the waste hierarchy required by EU policies.

The executive summary of the study is available at: If you wish to download a full copy of the study, please use the following request form:

GEIR Contributes to EU Consultation on Waste Targets

11 September 2013

As the European Commission is reviewing at the moment the targets set in the Waste Framework Directive for the recycling of waste streams, the European Waste Oil Re-refining Industry Association (GEIR) has given its input on targets for waste oils. In the current Directive, at least 50 per cent of all paper, metal, plastic and glass should be either prepared for re-use or recycled. The target is to be achieved by all Member States until 2020, and the European Commission is looking into additional waste streams to receive similar targets.  


In anticipation of the revision, GEIR collected earlier this year data from all its members on available waste oils, the collection rates and the utilization of the collected waste oils at national level. Based on the collected information, GEIR developed a contribution to the European Commission’s enquiries, tailored to the waste oil sector. GEIR suggests an EU wide target for the collection of waste oil by 2025.


Inspired by the Spanish Law on Waste Oils (Real Decreto 679/2006), GEIR brought forward a target of 95 per cent of all waste oils to be collected. As a second pillar of this target, GEIR suggests a minimum annual increase of regeneration for all waste oils collected in each Member State. GEIR also suggests a final goal of between 80-90 per cent until 2025. Those EU Member States with low regeneration rates would have to adopt ambitious annual targets to meet the final goal. As the European Commission is also considering maximum targets for the energetic recovery of certain waste streams, GEIR put forward a target of maximum 10 per cent for waste oils, though Member States such as Greece achieve already today lower incineration rates and should be allowed to deviate to lower percentages.


The public consultation was open until 10 September. The European Commission will review all contributions and propose a revised directive in the course of 2013.


The GEIR contribution is available through this link.

Re-refining of Base Oils: Go for it!

27 March 2013

Lube Magazine's issue no. 113 (February 2013) published a three pages article on the re-refining of base oils industry, entitled "Re-refining of Base Oils: Go for it!" (Gopala Krishnan). The article provides the reader with an overview of what the re-refining of base oils process consists of, the challenges currently faced by the industry and perspectives for the future of the re-refining of base oils industry.


To access the three pages of the article, please click below:

- Page one

- Page two

- Page three

The European Waste Oil Re-refining Industry Association holds debate on waste and recycling at the European Parliament

20 March 2013

The European Re-refining Industry Association (GEIR) invited policy makers, stakeholders, journalists and NGOs to a European Parliament breakfast discussion on waste and recycling in the framework of upcoming EU waste policy revision.


The review of the Waste Framework Directive focuses on waste prevention measures and the introduction of recycling targets for additional waste streams. The Member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, Mrs. Christa Klaaß (Germany, Conservatives) opened the discussion giving a general outline on the importance of waste management and recycling for the EU’s emission savings targets.


Keynote speaker, Mr. William Neale from the Cabinet of Commissioner Potocnik, discussed whether environmental legislation is a burden on economic growth and outlined the EU Commission activities to foster a green single market. Businesses need predictability for their investments underlined Mr. Neale.


GEIR President Dr. Detlev Bruhnke (Avista Oil AG) presented the association and elaborated on the environmental, economic and social benefits of future recycling targets for waste oils. “Waste oil regeneration is a good example for green job creation and our members are worldwide technology leaders” said Mr. Bruhnke.


GEIRIn addition, Mr. Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director of Zero Waste Europe gave an overview of the civil society perspective on waste and recycling: recycling targets per waste stream could be a good instrument to ensure coherent EU waste management. Recycling rates are stagnating despite putting into the place the EU Waste Framework Directive.


Following the presentations an interesting debate took place where Members of the European Parliament requested industry to provide policy-makers with more data in order to support policy-making. GEIR members outlined that most waste oils are burnt due to the economics, as tax cuts are subsidizing incineration and not recycling.


Click here to access the list of participants present. llllllll.


GEIR Breakfast Event - 19th of March 2013, European Parliament

28 January 2013

GEIR, the Re-refining Industry Section of UEIL, will hold a Breakfast Event on the 19th of March 2013 (8.00 - 9.30) at the European Parliament, under the thematic "Promoting European leadership in waste and recycling: waste oil regeneration case study". Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the European Commission and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to discuss key issues, such as:

- How can Europe further promote leadership in waste and recycling through additional recycling targets and waste prevention measures along with better implementation of existing legislation?
- Could the case study of waste oil regeneration provide a useful example towards creating a real EU Green Single Market?
- What role will the European Parliament play to promote leadership in waste and recycling?


Opening Speech: Dr. Horst Schnellhardt, Member of European Parliament (hosting)
Key Note Speech: William Neale, (Cabinet Janez Potocnik)
Case Study: Dr. Detlev Bruhnke (GEIR President)
Civil Society Perspective: Joan Marc Simon (Zero Waste Europe)


If you wish to participate in this event, please register here at your earliest convenience - the information you provide in this registration form will be used for the accreditation procedure required by the European Parliament, hence please be sure to provide correct and complete details.


For further information on the event, please check the official invitation and/or contact the GEIR Secretariat.


GEIR News - April 2012

27 April 2012

GEIR contributes to Sustainable Consumption and Production public consultation

In March 2012, the European Waste Oils Re-refining Association (GEIR) contributed to the European Commission’s public consultation on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The consultation aimed at collecting stakeholders views on sustainable consumption and production and sustainable industry policies, Green Public Procurement, and actions for improving the environmental performance of products (Product Environmental Footprint – PEF), etc.

GEIR is actively involved in this policy debate and expressed its views as a response to the consultation. GEIR underlined in its contribution support for ensuring more resource efficient and environmental friendly products in the EU market; augmenting competitive rewards for such products; improving waste management and recycling in the EU; improving implementation of EU Green Public Procurement criteria by proposing mandatory uptake targets; and support for improvement the environmental performance of products by use of common methodology. The finalisation of EU’s harmonized Product Environmental Footprint methodology is an important step forward which GEIR welcomes and will apply to its products.


Questionnaire answers available by clicking here.


GEIR News - September 2011

9 September 2011

GEIR members have elected a new President, Dr Detlev Bruhnke.


Detlev Bruhnke is Member of the Management Board of AVISTA Oil AG with responsibilities for R&D and technology transfer, QSHE, refinery production and technical services. After joining the AVISTA group in 1991 as Laboratory Manager of Mineraloel-Raffinerie Dollbergen GmbH, he has been Head of the R&D Department before being assigned Technical Managing Director in 2007. He is also Board Member of AVISTA OIL AG since 2008. He holds an MSc and a PhD in Chemistry from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. He is also Member of the Board of the German association Bundesverband Altoel e.V. (BVA).


Fabio Dalla Giovanna, GEIR Past President, finished his second mandate and said: "Over these four years we have tackled together many problems and many battles and I can say, to my great satisfaction, that today GEIR enjoys respect, visibility and credibility, so much so that we are often called to
express our opinion as stakeholders and as a landmark in our sector to the authorities and to the European Commission".


GEIR members and Secretariat wish good luck to Detlev for his Presidency!

GEIR Congress
"The re-refining industry: 40 years at the service of Europe's environment"

7 Octoberl 2009

"The re-refining industry: 40 years at the service of Europe's environment"

A chance to share visions, strengthen networks, explore the opportunities and the challenges of the Re-refining market.


Please click here to download speakers' presentations





Please click here to download speakers' presentations


GEIR News -March 2011

11 April 2011

Final adoption of the Revised Waste Framework Directive

March 2009

GEIR, the European Re-refining Industry Section, welcomed the final adoption of the Revised Waste Framework Directive in November 2008.

A reference, in the revised Waste Directive, to a 5-step waste hierarchy (called "priority order”) favouring recycling over other methods of waste treatment.

A specific mention to the need to follow the priority order for the management of waste oils and to their separate collection, ensuring that the spirit of the revised Directive is favourable to the industry across Europe and that waste oils regeneration remains a suitable option.

A perception that GEIR is a credible and knowledgeable European stakeholder, maximising its legitimacy to reach out to EU stakeholders on other policy issues if necessary (REACH, etc.).

At the adoption of the Final Waste Framework Directive, Fabio Dalla Giovanna, GEIR President, said: “Reaffirming the importance of oil recycling in EU law was vital to our industry’s future and we made it thanks to a professionally led public affairs campaign- this result was unthinkable three years ago. Today the priority order for waste oil recycling has been re-established, without any constraint such as was imposed in the Directive 75/439/EEC, strengthening the concept of recycling above combustion”.

All 27 Member States of the European Union will have to transpose the revised Waste Directive by 12 December 2010.

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