Used car tires are a vast waste stream that is getting increasingly difficult to manage for countries around the world. One option for turning this waste stream into value is to convert the tires to oil and carbon powder (used in tire production!) using pyrolysis. India has very few natural oil resources and for that reason the country is relying on oil imports to sustain its growing community. In this environment, oil production from tires has been regarded as a potentially good alternative to conventional oil imports. However, sourcing old tires and pyrolysing them has turned out to be an unsafe, environmentally problematic and – at the end of the day – financially unviable strategy. MASH Biotech has set out to change this by injecting the company’s unique knowledge and turning pyrolysis of old tires into a safe, environmentally sound and profitable activity. At the same time, we set out to fix the inherent problems with tire-based oils, including a high-sulphur content, which makes it incompatible with recent environmental legislation.
- Desktop study of variation in the properties of used tires. Also validation of results with samples sourced in Gujarat.
- Determination of proces limitations in processing tires and identification of appropriate processing technology.
- Testing of shredded, used car tires in small scale reactor in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Determination of mass and energy balances and estimation of profitability.
- Validation of sales price with customers used to buying tire-based pyrolysis oil. Confirmation of commodity price level.
- Based on the small-scale test, tests were initiated in a larger scale machine to test the assumption that scaling would improve overall process efficiency. Assumption validated.
- Investigation into various suppliers of used tires, including several promising leads in Europe. Validation of feedstock price level.
- Several customers are contacted to secure letters of intent to buy oil in large amounts.
- Several locations found in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Approvals gained for operations on one site in Madhya Pradesh.