Rubber Tire Pyrolysis - Production of Highly Enhanced Marketable Products

EPA Contract Number: 68D40084
Title: Rubber Tire Pyrolysis - Production of Highly Enhanced Marketable Products
Investigators: Carrera, Martin E.
Small Business: HiChem Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1994 through April 1, 1997
Project Amount: $145,616
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1994) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


HiChem proposes to continue research in scrap tire pyrolysis to scale the successful Phase I laboratory results to a continuous process. Laboratory work demonstrated that the HiChem process produces three usable fractions from scrap tires:

  1. activated carbon with BET surface area between 1,000-2,000 meter2/gram,
  2. an oil fraction with calorific value equivalent to a Number 1 fuel oil, and
  3. a high calorific value gas stream, mainly consisting of hydrogen and methane.

These streams are an improvement over the low quality char and higher molecular weight liquid streams obtained by conventional pyrolysis. Phase II will result in a continuous process with material and energy balances.

2.5 million tires are discarded in the United States every year, creating a huge disposal problem. Most of the tires are disposed of in above ground piles. Conventional steam pyrolysis of scrap tires under inert atmospheres produces reusable gas, oil, and char. However, these poor quality products have low market value. Therefore, disposal of the tires by steam pyrolysis is only marginally viable as a business venture. HiChem's process consists of reusable oil and activated carbon of higher quality. These products will be competitive in the existing market, with a low priced feedstock. The research also showed a shift in the proportionality of byproducts to higher solid and liquid (carbon and oil) fractions. Thus, the products are of higher quality and quantity.

Supplemental Keywords:

Pyrolysis, Tires, Oil, Char, Activated., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, Municipal, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering, rubber tire pyrolysis, scrap tires, pyrolysis, municipal waste, rubber tire, activated carbon, marketable products

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Scrap Tire Pyrolysis -- Production of Highly Enhanced Marketable Products