Enviro Looks at Improving Pyro Oil
The possibility of producing pyrolysis oil from worn out tyres is being investigated in a research project run by RISE 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 the use of car tyres to artificial turf has environmental disadvantages with the release of microplastics. In addition, globally, a large number of tyres are landfilled every year, especially in developing countries.
At the Scandinavian Enviro Systems’ recycling plant in Åsensbruk, discarded tyres are recovered in a pyrolysis process, where rCB, pyrolysis oil, steel and gas are obtained as products. The rCB, 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.
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 utilises the valuable components of the tyres, while reducing fossil fuel consumption,” says project manager Linda Sandström.