A more efficient form of Tyre Derived Fuel can be achieved using a system called Pyrolysis. Heating any organic or oil-based material in the absence of oxygen and agitating it will start a chemical reaction that transforms the material into solids, liquids and gases. Pyrolysis has been used for generations and would be familiar to previous generations used to producing charcoal from wood or extracting “town gas” from coal.
Several attempts have been made to process waste tyres using pyrolysis. Up to recent times, these attempts have been mostly unsuccessful, because the carbon and the heavy pyrolysis oils tended to coagulate, layer and harden on the inside of the pyrolysis chamber, which then had to be removed regularly. Recently, however, there has been a breakthrough. One technology provider has demonstrated and obtained EPA certification for a continuous tyre pyrolysis process that has solved the issue of “coagulation”.
When tyres are pyrolysed they converted into hydrocarbon gas, organic and hydrocarbon liquids, and a solid char. Depending on the parameters of the pyrolysis process, this char has properties that allow it to be used as carbon black, which is used in the tyre manufacturing process.
The pyrolysis process produces gas (similar to piped Natural Gas). This gas can be used to generate electricity, and to produce heat energy to power the pyrolysis process. The gas has about 33% biogenic composition – which means it qualifies for biomass biofuel or renewable electricity subsidies.
The pyrolysis process produces liquids (with energy content similar to kerosene). The liquid can be used in several fashions – depending on the incentive structure available. The liquid has about 33% biogenic composition – which means it too qualifies for biomass, bio-fuel or renewable electricity subsidies to a level of 33% of the volume produced. This liquid is a mixture of organic chemicals, and hydrocarbon liquids. There are several ways of using this material to generate revenue.
The pyrolysis process produces a solid char, which is left over after the gases and liquids are extracted from the waste rubber. Depending on the temperature of the reaction and the agitation in the reaction chamber, if the char has not been damaged during the pyrolysis process, it satisfies the specifications of carbon black.
Carbon Black is a soot-like powder, used in the manufacture of tyres as a binder to increase product durability. 90% of Carbon Black demand arises from the tyre industry. The pyrolysis process produces N550-equivalent Carbon Black with an existing ASP of €990/tonne. Future development plans will incorporate techniques to produce N330 Carbon Black, (with smaller average particle size compared to N550), and generate revenue of €1,820/ tonne or higher.
CCT is a licensee of tyre-pyrolysis technology that produces tyre-industry-grade Carbon Black directly from End of Life Tyres. Production of Carbon Black from tyres has 5-7 times the revenue potential and 15 times the profit potential, compared to production of Tyre Derived Fuel from Shredding. Carbon Conversion Technology Ltd. has designed a system that reduces the cost of waste tyre disposal compared to other methodologies, while reducing to zero the manufacturer and local authority liability for 3rd party waste tyre disposal noncompliance.