Decomposition of Used Tyre Rubber by Pyrolysis: Enhancement of the Physical Properties of the Liquid Fraction Using a Hydrogen Stream

Anyela Ramirez-Canon, Yahir F. Muñoz-Camelo, Paul Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The disposal of discarded tyres represents an environmental challenge for solid waste management entities. The need to reduce solid waste in urban areas along with the depletion of natural resources have made it necessary to reincorporate used materials into productive processes, giving value to what is considered waste, and minimizing the requirement of natural resources. In this study, pyrolysis was selected to thermally decompose used ground waste vulcanized rubber from automobile tyres. This rubber was exposed to the pyrolytic process in an indirectly heated batch reactor at three different temperatures. Three fractions (i.e., gas, liquid and solid) were obtained during the process. The effect of a hydrogen stream on the properties of the liquid fraction was analysed and characterized following the American Society for Testing and Materials procedures (ASTM) for the pyrolysis of liquid fuels. A multifactorial statistical analysis was used to evaluate the experimental data and thermographs of the process were recorded. Differences in thermographs suggest a different degradation pathway for the rubber exposed to 600 C compared to the rubber exposed to lower temperatures. Temperatures in the range of 450 to 500 C favored the production of carbon black regardless of the use of a hydrogen stream. In contrast, high temperatures favored the production of liquid and gas fractions. The highest production of liquid fraction was obtained at 550 C, where 37% of the rubber was turned into liquid. Results also showed that a constant flow of hydrogen improves the appearance of the pyrolysis liquid. Furthermore, the hydrogen atmosphere reduces the sulphur content, water and sediments; and increases the values for the heat of combustion and the liquid fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironments - MDPI
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2018


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