Vacuum Pyrolysis of Waste Vehicle Tyres into Oil Fuel Using A Locally, Fabricated Reactor
Countries are still faced with daunting challenges of managing ever-increasing waste generated, especially plastic and waste vehicle tyres. Whilst some developed countries have adopted innovative ways such as catalytic or pyrolytic decomposition processes for energy or fuel generation from these wastes, developing countries like Ghana still dispose off indiscriminately around communities or unmanned dumpsites. Hence, this study sought to transform waste vehicle tyres into fuel which invariably minimizes or eliminate its environmental impact. Particularly, waste vehicle tyres (sourced from dumpsites in Tarkwa, Ghana) were washed, shredded and decomposed via pyrolysis at high temperature using locally designed and fabricated reactor under this project. The physicochemical properties (such as water content, flash point, density, sulphur content, solids and viscosity) of the pyrolysis oil produced were also examined through the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and procedures. The physicochemical analyses results showed that the density, flash point and the viscosity of the pyrolysis oil produced were 0.904 cSt, 34.5 oC, 850.6 kg/m3 (at 15 oC), respectively. Additionally, the sulphur, water and solids/particulates contents of the pyrolysis oil were 4340.0 ppm, 0.8 vol.% and 483,495.5 ppm, respectively. It was also observed that the pyrolysis oil obtained appeared as thick, single-phase liquid with dark colour and strong odour/smell at room temperature. In comparison, the properties of pyrolysis oil produced without further treatment did not meet the International specification for diesel fuel, hence its usage would require further treatments such as desulphurization, decanting, centrifugation and filtration. Overall, the study has demonstrated that pyrolysis of waste vehicle tyres into fuel provides alternative method for managing end-of-life vehicle tyres and adding value to waste in general.