Tire Pyrolysis

Weibold helps companies build commercially successful tire recycling and pyrolysis businesses. We also help streamline business business processes and upgrade production with the latest market and technology requirements.

What is tire pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is an age old concept. Tire Pyrolysis, however, represents a nascent market that is experiencing a boom in recent years. Its promise of significant contributions to a circular economy has globally spawned a lot of investment leading to major technological developments and new markets. As in any maturing market, these developments represent both great opportunities and significant challenges. There are many successes but also many unsubstantiated claims, misunderstood specifications, operational pitfalls and inconsistent acceptance of the products that tire pyrolysis generates. At Weibold we are constantly monitoring the collective experiences gained and are on the look-out for the benchmarks that will define the best practices in the maturing markets.

Main products of tire pyrolysis

Four main output products from tire pyrolysis are: fuel oil, recovered carbon black (rCB), steel wire and synthetic gas. 

Applications for tire pyrolysis oil

In tire pyrolysis, oil makes up approximately 35-45% weight of output depending on type of the thermal treatment. Tire-derived pyrolysis oil with a wide distillation cut consists of three fractions with the middle distillate fraction prevailing, and it cannot be considered as an alternative blending component for commercial motor fuel, fuel oil or heating oil before a purification and additional treatment.

The main applications of tire pyrolysis oil are: maritime fuel, fuel for vehicular engines, fuel for stationary engines (power generators) and furnace fuel used by heating companies.

Scope of applications of pyrolysis oil depends on local and national regulations. In countries with strict environmental regulation tire-derived pyrolysis oil may require distillation & chemical treatment and/or additional refining process, which in turn will upgrade its quality and application properties.

Utilization of the tire-derived pyrolysis oil as fuel oil component for power plants is one of the most common applications of the product. It usually does not require a final boiling point (FBP) modification and chemical treatment, but thorough filtering, which makes production process significantly cheaper as opposed to using it as motor fuel or marine distillate pool component for diesel motor vehicles, vessels and stationary diesel engines.

The main challenge to sell the heavy fuel oil in different countries is sulfur content. National regulations vary from country to country, but European regulations are particularly strict to sulfur content in fuels.

To successfully sell tire-derived pyrolysis oil (diesel-like fractions) to power plants or maritime transportation companies as an alternative fuel oil component, custom formulation and quality enhancements are needed. Our team will gladly help you find out which technical and chemical parameters you need to account for to build a successful tire pyrolysis business and supply power plants, maritime transportation companies and stationary diesel aggregates with your oil.

Applications for recovered carbon black from tires

Recovered carbon black (rCB) accounts for approximately 30% to 45% of tire-derived pyrolysis output. rCB is used both in energy recovery applications and as a replacement for virgin CB in manufacturing applications such as paints, industrial and automotive parts and rubber goods. Tire-derived rCB may appear an economically attractive and valuable product with a potential to compose a significant portion of plant’s revenues. To make it marketable, post-pyrolysis treatment steps may be required. The degree of purity and amount of treatment required by the end product will have a major impact on the value of rCB, and thereby on the plant’s overall profit margins.

Technologies for tire pyrolysis

There are many technological concepts for tire pyrolysis on the market or in development today. Some are still in the experimental stages. The core of any pyrolysis plant is a reactor that decomposes rubber chips without the use of oxygen. The choice of technology and its supplier should be made in the context of the planned plant throughput capacity and the specifications of the output products.

Tire pyrolysis plants are capital intensive

Depending on local supply, market, and regulatory conditions, additional investments in pre-processing and post-processing steps may be required to arrive at a viable solution for the plant. Regulatory requirements force controlled plant emissions, Requirements for quality and consistent feedstock with controllable origin are dictated by the target specifications and quality for the product output. rCB product requirements may mandate additional post-pyrolysis treatment of the carbon char. Also, depending on the chosen target customers, the oils may have to be desulfurized and cleaned in order to make them more attractive and achieve higher profit margins.

Weibold’s approach to tire pyrolysis projects

  1. Development of customers and products before making choices on technology
  2. Establishment of a base-line business to secure a cashflow that sustains the operation (mostly based on sales of products for energy recovery use), upon which more sophisticated capabilities and product lines are developed that add profit to the bottom line
  3. Strong emphasis on control of quality, consistency and cost of the feedstock input (either through choice of supplier or through internal control by instituting a tire recycling line)
  4. Choice of technology supplier with a proven track record of economically viable reference project(s)
  5. Build-up of a technically savvy sales and support resource that can develop products in cooperation with the potential customers.

Contact us with your pyrolysis challenges and let us help you make the right choices for concepts, technology, feedstock and markets!

CONTACT US

Kalvarienberggasse 13/59,
1170 Vienna, Austria

+43 1 997 10 50

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Weibold is an international consulting company specialized exclusively in tire recycling and end-of-life tire pyrolysis since 1999. 

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