Swedish Project Investigates Ways to Produce Fuel from Waste Tyres
The possibility of producing pyrolysis oil from worn out tyres is investigated in a research project run by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden together with Scandinavian Enviro Systems and Ragn-Sells with support from Vinnova.
Recycling of end-of-life tyres represents both a big challenge and a great opportunity. Ragn-Sells has the task of collecting and recycling discarded tyres in Sweden, and today the tyres are used, for example, for its energy content and for making granules used as fillings in, for example, artificial turf. However, the tyres have potential for more high value recycling than direct combustion, and globally a large number of tyres are deposited every year, especially in developing countries.
At the Scandinavian Enviro Systems’ recycling plant in Åsensbruk, discarded tyres are recovered in a pyrolysis process, where carbon black, pyrolysis oil, steel and gas are obtained as products. The carbon black, which is today the main product of the process, is of high quality and is sold to the rubber industry. The pyrolysis oil has great similarities with fossil oil, and therefore has potential to be used instead of fossil oil for the production of, for example, transportation fuels. Natural rubber in the tyre also makes the pyrolysis oil partially bio based. The pyrolysis oil from Scandinavian Enviro Systems consists of 48 percent of bio-oil.
Promising results so far
The aim of the ongoing project is to evaluate three different approaches for upgrading pyrolysis oil from tyres to more high-quality products, with the main focus on co-upgrading to fuels together with fossil raw materials in refinery processes. Upgrading of pyrolysis oil from Scandinavian Enviro Systems’ process is carried out in the various scales of RISE test and pilot facilities in Piteå and Södertälje.
- Our initial results are promising, and we hope and believe that the project will contribute to a sustainable tyre recovery, which utilizes the valuable components of the tyres, while reducing fossil fuel consumption, says project manager Linda Sandström in a statement.
New materials play an important role in sustainable development and combatting climate change. New uses for old materials can also be a major industrial opportunity: for example, the value of biomass from forests in Finland can be doubled if used for manufacturing products of higher added value.
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