Every day in the UK, over 100,000 worn tyres are taken off cars, vans and trucks. This accounts to 46 million tyres per year (440,000 tonnes).
The 2006 EU Landfill Directive means that scrap tyres are no longer accepted to landfill sites and virtually all end-of-life tyres are recycled or re-used in some way.
One such use of waste tyres is for the generation of Tyre-Derived Fuel (TDF). Tyres have a natural rubber content, which is a form of biomass and potentially a renewable form of energy. A thermal conversion process known as pyrolysis, which heats biomass in a reactor vessel containing an oxygen-free atmosphere, can be used to reprocess shredded scrap tyres into fuel gas, oils, solid residue (char), and a carbon black.
Shredded waste tyres, when mixed with chemical wastes, wood or coal, can be burned in power plants, paper mills and concrete kilns.
Tyres have a calorific value equivalent to a high quality coal.
The burning of scrap tyres can help replace the burning of fossil fuels
FuturEnergy Ltd, based in Warwickshire in the West Midlands specialises in the design, production and distribution of clean technology and renewable energy, delivering a diverse range of own and contract design products and process solutions to industry and domestic users – specialising in wind turbines and waste-to-energy systems.
Read on here to discover how FuturEnergy is developing equipment and processes involving the pyrolysis of tyres, and how EBRI worked with them to shape a collaborative project.