Catalytic Conversion of Waste Rubber into Oil Fuels: Lab Scale and Industrial Scale
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This project aimed at solving the firm technical problems. It was proposed that adding a suitable low cost catalyst to the pyrolysis process will improve it by: Lowering pyrolysis temperature, lowering processing time, and giving better products. Converting waste rubber into fuel is known in literature. Adding catalysts to the process was reported earlier, where temperatures as high as 600oC were needed. In this project suitable catalysts were added to lower processing temperatures and pressures. To our knowledge, no lab or commercial study was made on converting waste rubbers into fuels at lower than 400oC and low pressures (1 Atm). Lab scale experiments were made using 1-2 g catalyst/30 g waste. The lab study showed that the catalyst improved type of resulting fuel products, lowered processing time and temperature. Amount of catalyst also controlled ratios of products, liquid, gas and solid sludge. Lab results were used by the firm. By adding the catalyst (1.0 kg/5 ton rubber) the firm obtained great results. Time needed to start production became 45 min instead of 3 hour (so the firm stopped feeding fuel for burning, and the process gave gas fuel to the burners from itself). This lowered costs. The temperature was also lowered, which saves money. Resulting products (clear color & easy to burn) were then needed by market. The fuel is now sold at ($1000/ton). One ton of waste rubber (~$30) gives 400 kg fuel (with ~$300 selling price). Catalyzed process is economic and environmentally friendly. This work is therefore a new achievement in the field, at lab and commercial scales. During studying this project there were many difficulties and limitations, some of them were solved, but other were not. A number of recommendations are made in this report.