Recycle base oil



Importance of our Quality Control on Recycle Base Oil SN500,  SN150, SN350 and export them.

First of all, you are receiving this guideline from us because we believe you are one of our key customers. And we wish to do business with you on a long-term basis with no quality issues and no misunderstanding on what our market prefers.

We have a lot of experience in the export of high-quality recycled base oil SN 500 SN 350 SN150 shipments previously, so we wish to avoid any issues with your quality with customers. This is the reason why you are receiving this guide from us.

You should know this guideline how we control quality and shipment

Our company ATDM CO LTD has been in the base oil trading business since 2006 and we export about 100 to 150 containers of base oil in flexi bags, and reconditioned drums to the global

market monthly. 80% of our products are recycled base oil and 20% are virgin products. And 70% of our shipments are in reconditioned drums. We are among the top 5 exporters of base oil in the Middle east.


Normally poor countries cannot afford to buy virgin base oil in high quantity and price buying recycled grade. They prefer to buy it but within controlled specifications. Buyers prefer to buy reconditioned drums as it is easier to transport to other parts of countries and not ready to invest in tank storage facilities. And reconditioned drum packaging is easy to do retail trading.


Everything must be in agreement from the beginning. If any point is not agreed upon, it should be discussed before the PI/contract is signed mutually. After the PI/contract is signed, it should be final. It is hard to argue if some points were not discussed in advance but changed later on.

So, for every purchase/contract, we require a signed proforma invoice, signed a contract with you (customer), a specification sheet with full details of COA (certificate of analysis), a sample photo of the oil (showing color and clarity) and video of oil pouring from one cup to another cup to verify the good quality and sample pictures of reconditioned drums that will be used for this shipment. List is as follow:

a) signed PI/contract

b) a signed specification sheet or COA

c) photo of oil/video of oil pouring from one cup to another cup

d) photo of reconditioned drums that will be supplied for this contract

Oil Quality

On oil quality, three (3) main important points are – color, appearance or clarity and viscosity.


Markets like light color. Customers do not like dark color oil such as 3.0 or higher. Usually, customers buy 1.5 max for SN 150, 2.0 max for SN 300, and 2.5 max for SN 500. You should understand that recycled base oil may be produced with acid treatment in the refining process. So color may change from point of loading to point of destination. But color changes must not be more than +0.5 than the agreed specs. If the color is very dark or much higher than agreed spec, it cannot get good selling price locally so claim may happen if color is dark or much higher than agreed spec.

Appearance or clarity

Recycled base oil appearance is very important. It should not be cloudy, murky or mixed with water or other chemicals. Sometimes, if the supplier is not careful about using the good quality reconditioned drum or if the reconditioned drum is not washed properly inside or if a chemical or additive drum is used, the oil will become murky or cloudy. This is a very serious issue and the buyer can reject the cargo and make a 100% claim on cargo value.


In countries with hot climates, buyer prefers thicker viscosity oil like SN 500. But if buyer is buying SN 150, he should get SN 150 spec and not other spec. Likewise, if buyer is buying SN 500 spec, he should be given SN 500 oil only. Sometimes, some other traders or suppliers do not care about viscosity range and they ship whatever comes into their tank. This is wrong. It must be strict as per the agreed specs based on the contract and business confirmation.

It is important to meet both 40°C and 100°C viscosity according to API standards.

API standard specifications

Buyers are already familiar with API guidelines on base oil specifications so following table is mentioned based on API guideline. And we will purchase based on these same specs.

SpecificationsSN 150 RCSN 300 RCSN 500 RC
Appearance **Bright & ClearBright & ClearBright & Clear
Clarity / No-contamination **No water mixture, no chemical mixture, not-murky or cloudy colorNo water mixture, no chemical mixture, not-murky or cloudy colorNo water mixture, no chemical mixture, not-murky or cloudy color
Color **1.0 to 1.5 Max1.5 to 2.0 Max2.0 to 2.5 Max
Viscosity @ 40°C **28 to 3245 to 6590 to 105
Viscosity @ 100°C **4.4 to 5.66.5 to 8.09.5 to 11.5
Flash Point210210210
Viscosity Index90 to 12090 to 12090 to 120
Pour Point-3 to -6-3 to -6-3 to -6
DensityAs per actualAs per actualAs per actual

** These specifications are very important to match and stay within this range.

Load port survey report

To avoid having quality disputes upon arrival, it is important to draw samples from actual cargo at the load port or supplier’s warehouse and show the load port survey report to us for acceptance and approval before shipment takes place. Only with our approval and acceptance, you should make the shipment.

Sometimes, unreliable shippers will show good samples in video, or photo and later on make bad quality shipments to cheat. So, to prevent this from happening, you should engage a load port surveyor from a reliable lab & analysis company. This surveyor cost is small compared to potential claims and loss due to bad quality, so you should invest in this cost for every shipment.

Load port survey result must be checked against the agreed spec based on contract or business confirmation. We will provide this “Load Port Survey Report” for every shipment.

Photo / Video proof of actual shipment

It is necessary to show video and photo updates of products when products are ready for shipment, container stuffing before doors are closed and more importantly, oil being pulled out from the drums or flexible from actual cargo from an actual container.

Examples as follows:

Drums lying in the supplier warehouse

Oil pulled out from actual cargo from the actual contract

Oil bottle on top of the drums

Do take note, it must be an actual photo, or video of the oil produced for this contract and not other forwarded samples or forwarded photos from other contracts/shipments.


Good quality reconditioned drum is as important as good quality oil (10% versus 90%)

Similar to milk put into a dirty bottle spoils the whole bottle of milk, if drum used is unclean, unwashed, have dirty or left-over chemicals inside, it can spoil the whole drum. The cost of a recon drum is usually 10% of the whole CFR cost, so it is important to remember that 10% of the cost can spoil the other 90% easily. So, we need to get good quality reconditioned drums first and foremost.

Source drum directly from drum factory

If possible, it is better to buy reconditioned drums from the drum supplier directly and deliver them to the oil supplier. This way, you have better control over what types of reconditioned drums you are getting. If you buy both oil & drums from an oil factory, this factory may use bad quality drums lying around in his warehouse or some old additives drums in his warehouse without checking the quality and inner condition of the drums.

Avoid chemical drums or adhesive drums

It is important to take note “WE WILL NOT USE CHEMICAL / ADDITIVE / ADHESIVE DRUMS”. Some chemical such as adhesive have white or milky color like glue. And they are easily soluble in the oil if the adhesive is very thin or very light viscosity (example like honey or hair gel). And this again can spoil the whole drum of base oil.

And make sure there is no water left-over in the drum as this again can make the oil very milky or cloudy.

Avoid black color drum

Customers do not like black color, so black color drums should be avoided. If possible, each container should have the same color of drums – example blue, red, yellow or green.

Avoid drum logos and other manufacturer logos or unrelated markings on drums

Avoid damaged drums

Reconditioned drums should be free from dents, surface being cracked or having holes. It is long journey from port of loading to port of destination. So, if there is crack or damage on drums, oil slippage may occur during the transit time and clean-up cost will be on the shipper’s account. This is very expensive.

Ensure washing and proper cleaning inside the drum


Cap seals



Customer import system requires two types of labelling –

a) product label marking            b) PPRD label marking

Both of these marking must be printed on the drums as instructed.

Uses for recycled oil

Industrial burner oil, where the used oil is dewatered, filtered and demineralised for use in industrial burners;

Mould oil to help release products from their moulds (e.g. pressed metal products, concrete);

Hydraulic oil;

Bitumen based products;

An additive in manufactured products; or.

 Importance to connect with us

Recycled base oil can have a lot of errors in color, clarity, viscosity and drum quality. So, it is very important to keep 3-4 good and reliable oil direct factories at your side. It is not advisable to buy recycled base oil from a trader as the trader may not know who is the actual factory that produces the oil. And trader’s approach to quality is not as strict and strong as the end-user.

So, if you buy from an unknown new supplier, the problem can happen if you do not control this factory or this factory cheats on you by shipping bad quality shipments.

Specification of Recycle Base Oil

TDS Recycle Base-Oil.pdf

MSDS of Recycle Base Oil

msds Recycle Base-Oil.pdf

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