The Manufacture of Carbon Black From Oils Derived From Scrap Tires

EPA Contract Number: 68D99080
Title: The Manufacture of Carbon Black From Oils Derived From Scrap Tires
Investigators: Wojtowicz, Marek
Small Business: Advanced Fuel Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $224,966
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1999) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


This project addresses the reprocessing of oils derived from waste-tire pyrolysis into carbon black, a valuable feedstock for the manufacture of tires, other rubber products, paints, pigments, ink, powder coating, toner, and more. Such a process would form a recycling loop for the carbon black recovered from waste tires. Tire pyrolysis plants have been in operation for several years, but the economics are poor. This is due to the low value of the end products, which are usually fuels (e.g., oil, pyrolysis gas, char). Reprocessing of waste tires into value-added products would improve the economic leverage. The overall objective of the project is to develop a process for producing carbon black from tire pyrolysis oil. The Phase I objective, to demonstrate the feasibility of making carbon black of acceptable quality, was successfully accomplished, with American Society for Testing and Materials-grade carbon blacks produced. The Phase II objectives are to optimize product quality, as a function of process conditions and reactor design, and to advance the process to a pilot scale (Phase II option). This will be accomplished in the following tasks: (1) design and construction of a laboratory demonstration unit, (2) process optimization, (3) product analysis and process assessment, and (4) pilot-scale testing (Phase II option).

The proposed research, if successful, should result in a process that would allow for the recycling of a huge stream of solid waste, the majority of which currently ends up in a landfill. The recovered carbon black would be reused mainly in tire manufacturing, which is a large-volume industry. The proposed technology should provide a strong boost for the tire pyrolysis plants that have suffered from poor process economics. The process involves only a few modifications in the existing state-of-the-art (carbon black furnace process), the main innovations being the substitution of tire pyrolysis oil for the traditional petroleum feedstocks and the processing of the oils to high-value products. For these reasons, the new technology is gaining acceptance within the industry, although the properties of the carbon black products as a function of process conditions and reactor design still need to be determined.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, hazardous/solid waste, recycling, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, Sustainable Environment, Municipal, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, rubber tire pyrolysis, tire recycling, scrap tires, pyrolysis, municipal waste, rubber tire, carbon black, activated carbon, marketable products, reusable oil

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • SBIR Phase I:

    The Manufacture of Carbon Black from Oils Derived from Scrap Tires  | 1999 Progress Report  | Final Report