Swedish project to study production of fuel from waste tyres

June 8, 2018

ProjectThe possibility of producing pyrolysis oil from worn out tyres is being investigated in a research project run by the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE), along with Scandinavian tyre recycler Enviro Systems and waste management group Ragn-Sells, with support from Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency.

The aim of the 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.

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 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% of bio-oil.

“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.

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