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Task Force Eagle maintenance in Bosnia and Herzegovina has used this motor oil/fuel blending machine to save money, increase efficiency and reduce the potential for hazardous environmental spills.

Task Force Eagle maintenance in Bosnia and Herzegovina has used this motor oil/fuel blending machine to save money, increase efficiency and reduce the potential for hazardous environmental spills. (Kelly Luster/U.S. Army)

EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Stabilization Force troops have been saving time and money by using a process called oil blending to provide fuel for some of their vehicles.

When Chief Warrant Officer 4 Arthur Kegerreis, the maintenance officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 28th Infantry Division, arrived at Eagle Base six months ago, a new machine to speed up oil changes was waiting for him.

The machine takes used oil from a vehicle’s crankcase and blends it with diesel fuel from its fuel tank. After the mixture is passed through a filter to remove bits of dirt and water, it is returned to the fuel tank to be burned as fuel.

The system uses a drain pan to collect the used oil, a pump, a blender and a couple of hoses. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes for each vehicle, Kegerreis said.

It is also being touted as environmentally friendly and economic — since the used oil does not have to be disposed of — and prevents oil spills and cleanup costs.

“What this virtually does, it eliminates waste, and also you’re gaining fuel that you otherwise would have to pay for,” Kegerreis said.

Other advantages of the system, according to Kegerreis, are:

The cost of one gallon of diesel fuel is saved for each gallon of waste oil blended.Any traditional diesel engine can use the system (vehicles, generators, etc.).The fuel is consumed with no adverse effects to the engine or any unusual emissions.“It [the procedure] will not harm the environment. That’s the heart of this,” Kegerreis said. “There’s no adverse affects to this.”

In just three months — October to December — the military saved some $900 on labor, fuel purchase and oil storage expenses for 33 Humvees. That does not include the cost of handling and shipping the used oil.

The only time the method cannot be used is in case antifreeze fluid mixes with the engine oil, since antifreeze in the fuel tank can damage the engine.

Kegerreis plans to spread the word about the oil blending system when he returns to his full-time Pennsylvania National Guard job at Fort Indiantown Gap.

“I hope to sell the idea to the state when I get back,” he said.

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