File this one in your “ideas I should have had, but didn’t” files, because Valvoline has introduced a new line of high-quality motor oil that is 50% recycled with no adverse impact (the company claims) on performance.

Valvoline’s new oil products seem to be quit a bit more than simple green-washing of what is a rarely-discussed aspect of conserving fossil fuels – which is odd, considering that just about all of us buy it and put it in our cars and trucks in large quantities every few months.

Despite it’s commonality, though, many of us probably don’t realise what we’re actually buying when we pay for a quote of oil.  Sebastian Blanco, from AOL’s Autoblog, summed it up nicely:  “When you buy a new bottle of motor oil, what you’re actually getting is a liquid that contains 85 percent motor oil and 15 percent additives. When that motor oil runs through your engine for a few thousand miles and gets ‘used’, all that really happens is that additives get contaminated and useless, while the 85 percent motor oil is still there, still okay. This 85 percent is called base oil, and it can be reclaimed and turned into new motor oil.”  (Blanco was invited to Ashland/Valvoline’s NextGen media unveiling last Friday, and put together a comprehensive review of everything he learned at the press event – it’s definitely worth a read)

Valvoline has clearly committed to pushing this oil hard, and has put together a number of infographics and marketing materials to tell Valvoline NextGen’s story (in the gallery, at the end of this post).  Most interesting to me, however, was the image below, showing (in green) the relative merits of “re-refined” oil compared to “virgin base oil”.

It’s a bit power-slidey and some solid numbers are missing, but if that graph is even close to accurate then Valvoline seems like it’s found a big hit in NextGen.

Source:  Valvoline, via the Autoblog.