Scientists from Russia's Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed a new method of end-of-life tire recycling using ambient air direct current arc discharge plasma.

According to the researchers, this method is efficient, will save companies money on end-of-life tire recycling and will produce environmentally friendly fuel.

Russian scientists have created a one-of-a-kind atmospheric plasma reactor modification. It does not contain vacuum or gas equipment, unlike a traditional arc reactor, according to the scientists. The generation of a high-temperature substance – plasma – occurs in the open air and prevents the oxidation of materials and synthesis products.

This technology is thought to lower production costs while also reducing the energy intensity of the tire recycling process.

Alexander Pak, head of the research group, commented that “Plasma waste recycling is a revolutionary way of recycling, which, according to the world scientific community, will someday change the world. This method allows you to split any organic compounds almost to the atomic state”.

As a result of a series of experiments on rubber recycling, the scientists obtained two types of products: ultrafine carbon powder and a mixture of gases containing methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The last product could incorporate the new technology in "the power generation of the future," the scientists said.

At the second stage of research, scientists plan to continue improving the proposed method, as well as to consider the possibility of plasma processing of other types of waste, in particular, ash, slag, and plastic.

Original article by Tomsk Polytechnic University.