STOCKHOLM—Swedish recycled carbon black maker Enviro Systems A.B. is touting the results of a study showing that the pyrolysis oil it extracts from scrap tires can be used as fuel. The study was conduced in collaboration with Swedish research institute Rise and waste-management firm Ragn-Sells.
"We've demonstrated that fuel can be produced from tires," Linda Sandstroem, project manager at Rise, said in news release issued by Enviro. The research, she added, has shown that "pyrolysis oil is a feasible way for the petrochemical industries to reduce their consumption of fossil oil."
Begun in October 2017, the project set out to evaluate three different approaches for upgrading pyrolysis oil to higher grade products. Based at the Rise Energy Technology Center's laboratory in Pitea, Sweden, the team conducted pilot-scale studies, upgrading pure fossil oil to oil with 20 percent pyrolysis oil.
The research, Sandstroem said, showed that that there were no significant differences between the two.
The next stage is to verify the findings as well as to prepare for commercialization of using pyrolysis oil in fuel.
"We're looking for a refinery that's willing to accept pyrolysis oil as a raw material for production and thereby start reducing its consumption of fossil oil," Sandstroem said. "Once we've shown that the concept can be commercialized and that it's profitable, the general hope is for the industry to be willing to participate and develop it further."
The goal is for pyrolysis oil to be priced on the basis of its value to the petrochemicals industry, including in terms of sustainability.
Enviro is extracting about 500 kilos pyrolysis oil from 1 metric ton of tires by means of Enviro's patented technology, Enviro CEO Thomas Soerensson said. With a plant that processes 30,000 tons of tires annually, that's around 14,000 tons of oil per year available for the market.
"In other words, the financial potential is substantial," Soerensson. "We're looking forward to continuing the project and to explore the environmental and commercial benefits further."