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Old motor oil is used in furnace
Illinois Correspondent

HAMPSHIRE, Ill. — Mark Griffin is so busy selling, installing and maintaining Clean Burn heaters, he recently doubled his staff and still can’t keep up with the demand.

“Of course that means I went from one employee - me - to two,” Griffin said.

But seriously, he said he gets up to 60 calls a day for the furnaces that burn used motor oil.

Griffin said he has installed the furnaces in a wide variety of auto shops, car dealerships, transmission shops, quick oil change shops, farm shops, farm implement dealers and airline maintenance facilities. The furnaces burn all types of used motor oil, petroleum-based cutting oils, waste aircraft fuel and even transmission fluid.

“Quick lube places love them. They can be used anywhere there’s a facility that generates used oil,” Griffin said.

The average minimum volume of used oil that must be generated is between 500 and 700 gallons. Griffin pointed out that No. 2 fuel oil can be burned if no used oil is available.

He is the only dealer in northern Illinois for the distributor based in Lafayette, Ind. The furnaces are built at the company’s facility in Leola, Pa. Since 1979, Clean Burn products have helped to reduce energy consumption, provided an economic benefit for owners and a cleaner environment for all.

According to the Clean Burn website, used oil possesses nearly twice the energy value of coal and more energy than No. 2 fuel oil. One gallon of used oil can generate 18 kilowatt hours of electricity. And two gallons of used oil can provide electricity to run the average household for about 24 hours.

Griffin said he did a lot of research before signing on as a Clean Burn dealer. After a 20-year career with Safety Kleen, Griffin said the company was sold and he was without a job. “I did a great deal of research and Clean Burn won hands down. No contest. They were the only ones that supplied a quality piece of equipment.

“I talked with the customers and they told me it was the best. I got in touch with Drew Freeman, the distributor in Indiana and I’ve been in business with them for three years,” Griffin said.

Among his customers are several car dealers in the Chicago suburbs. “Loren Buick (in Glenview, Ill.) saved $5,000 last year with a Clean Burn furnace,” Griffin said.

Clean Burn furnaces are backed by a 10-year limited warranty on the combustion chamber and heater exchanger, and a one-year warranty on all burner parts.

Return on investment depends on several factors, including outdoor temperature, but the company estimates an average return of 18-24 months.

As a pioneer in used oil combustion technologies for heat recovery, Clean Burn works closely with the United States Environmental Agency to establish technical criteria and operating parameters.

The goal of the collaboration is to provide an environmentally acceptable means of disposing of or recycling motor oils and petroleum-based fluids from vehicle engines and other sources. This is important because the federal government holds users responsible for pollution management, clean up and disposal control of used oil. Simply put, the liability for used oil exists until it is burned.

For more information on Clean Burn furnaces, visit, or call Griffin at 847-648-3655.

This Illinois farm news was published in the November 23, 2005 issue of Farm World.