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Prelude

Locale of the work conducted

This project was conducted on the premises of DUT, Steve Biko campus, on-which the “Alan
Petterson Library” is situated and readily-available computers are.

Supervisor

This project was constantly monitored by our design lecturer from the “Faculty of built
environment” department.

Project Duration

The allocated time for completion of this task is approximately 6 weeks.


Declaration(s)

Assignment Topic: CEDA201 – Technical & Financial Feasibility Study of


Waste Tyre Pyrolysis

We declare that this assignment is our own original work. Where secondary materials have
been used (either from a printed source or from the internet), this has been carefully
acknowledged and referenced in accordance with departmental requirements.
We understand what plagiarism is and are aware of the department’s policy in this regard.
We have not allowed anyone else to borrow or copy our work nor have we borrowed or
copied anyone else’s work.

Full Name(s) & Surname: Ashira Gordhan

Student Number: 21804817

Signature: …………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………………..

Full Name(s) & Surname: Nikheel Ramoutar

Student Number: 21807986

Signature: …………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………………..

Full Name(s) & Surname: Yolan Dharshan Govender

Student Number: 21620830

Signature: …………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………………..


Acknowledgements

The completion of this task would not have been possible without various source of
guidance from fellow peers, lecturers and lab technicians.

Mr. Suresh Ramsuroop


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A major problem that faces many countries is how to dispose of the excess tyres. This poses
a major environmental problem because of the way companies have disposed of tyres in the
past are not eco-friendly as they release a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The
process being discussed in this report is pyrolysis as it provides an eco-friendly solution to
reuse tyres. This report will show you that tyre pyrolysis holds many benefits like the fact
that the oil produced from this process can be a replacement for diesel fuel. This report will
also show you that pyrolysis plays an integrative role in modern society today.
INTRODUCTION

Waste tyres have been a problem for most countries which has been an issue for years. The
build-up of tyres has causes environmental problems such as the increase in pests in the
surrounding areas and the burning of tyres releases a large amount of greenhouse gases
into the atmosphere. However the process of tyre pyrolysis provides a solution to these
problems. In this report, we are going to discuss the process of tyre pyrolysis and the
technologies associated with it.
USED TYRE MARKET IN SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa, it is estimated that there are approximately 60 million waste tyres being
disposed of across the country with about 11 million of these tyres being added every year.
Whilst, most of the waste tyres in south Africa end up being dumped in landfill,- those of
which resist degradation due to their makeup. Gauteng, North West and the Kwa-Zulu
Natal; may be at the forefront of the used tyre industry due to their ever growing tyre
industries. Those of which include Dunlop, Bridgestone, Continental, Sumitomo and
Goodyear.

Some of the above mentioned tyre manufacturers have been in operation for well over 60
years, contributing close to 20 billion to the South African economy annually. The
sustainability of the tyre market is imperative as it provides approximately 30 000 jobs in
South Africa, direct and indirectly.

Various methods have been implemented to deal with the problem of waste tyres. These
waste tyres have been used in several processes including incineration, rethreading, energy
recovery and pyrolysis. Numerous environmental concerns coupled with low product
demand and product value are the main limitations when dealing with waste tyres in South
Africa.

Incineration has many draw backs due to the production of toxic emissions and the disposal
of ash. Materialistic recovery methods are also limited due to their high energy
consumption and lack of market for the associated recovery products. These limitations are
some of the few drawback associated with south Africa as well as the world being unable to
reduce the billions of tyres that are currently in landfills and stockpiles.

The South African government has approved the recycling and development initiative of
South Africa (REDISA) as well as the integrated waste tyre management plan (IIWTM). These
are the main steps that South Africa is using in the pursuit of resolving the waste tyre
problem in South Africa.

Several policy instruments have been put in place to encourage the use of better disposal as
well as recovery methods of waste tyres in South Africa. Many regulations, permits and
restrictions have been put in place in an attempt to regulate the used tyre industry in South
Africa. There are also environmental taxes put in place such as carbon tax to reduce the
impact on the environment.

WASTE TYRES AS A RAW MATERIAL

2.1. THE COMPOSITION OF A TYRE

Tyres contain a mixture of vulcanized rubber (approx. 65 wt. %) and carbon black (approx.
35 wt. %). The remainder constitutes of fabric belts, reinforcing textile cords, steel, fillers,
accelerators and reinforcing beads which are all added during the manufacturing process.
The properties of these components may vary as well as their composition; all of which are
added to achieve a final tyre product. Each constituent is added to contribute a specific
property to the manufacturing process of the tyre.

FIGURE 2.1.2. VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF A TYRE


COMPONENT OF TYRE COMPOSITION OF COMPONENT
BEAD HEEL RING SHAPED STEEL WIRES ENCASED BY HAR
RUBBER
PILES SEVERAL LAYERS OF NYLON, RUBBER AND
REINFORCED RUBBER WHICH ARE PILED
TOGETHER
SIDEWALL SYNTHETIC AND NATURAL RUBBER MIXED
WITH CARBON BLACK AND VARYING
ADITIVES
LINER INNER COATING OF A SYNTHETIC RUBBER
TYRE THREAD SYNTHETIC AND NATURAL RUBBER
TABLE 2.1.1. TYPICAL COMPONENTS OF TYRES AND THEIR CONSTITUENT MATERIALS

There are several different synthetic and natural rubber formulations that are currently
being used in the production vehicle tyres. These tyres may be a blend of both rubbers. The
rubbers used in the manufacturing of a tyre are thermoset polymers. The most common of
the synthetic tyres is styrene-butadiene copolymer with a styrene content of approximately
25 wt.%. Other commonly used natural rubbers are polybutadiene rubber, nitrile rubber and
chloroprene rubber. The different rubbers that are used may yield different degradation
products.

The valuable raw materials that can be recovered from waste tyres include rubber, carbon
black and steel. These materials may be recycled and utilized for other applications. Waste
tyres that are no longer suitable for use in motor vehicles may be recycled but the issue at
hand is due to the large volume of waste tyres as well as the essentially problematic nature
of the component materials of these waste tyres.

Whilst most tyres in South Africa lay in stock piles as well as landfills, their components may
have other uses. The tyre cords are made up from a mix of rayon, cotton, polyester, glass
and steel which are the main components of tyres. The rubber compounds of various
textures are used in the different component of the tyre.

Pyrolysis may be arguably one of the most favourable methods of waste tyre recycling due
to the production of potentially valuable products. The various products of pyrolysis may be
easily managed and separated into their components and used for different applications.
The most valuable faction of the products being the, limonene which is a useful
hydrocarbon used in the removal of oil from machinery. The solid faction of the product is
activated carbon or carbon black which is commonly used in diesel oxidation experiments as
well as inks, paints and plastics.

2.2. BY-PRODUCTS OF WASTE TYRES

Some of the by-products that can be derived from waste tyre recycling are:

 Tyre derived fuel (TDF) – this refers to the shredded tyres that may be used as a
supplement for fires. TDF pieces are used in combustion devices as they burn out of
control in a controlled environment.
 Tyre derived aggregate refers to shredded scrap tyres that may be used in civil
engineering projects such as road repair, septic system draining fields and subgrade
road insulation.
 Rubber mulch- is used as playground ground cover material.
 Steel- 20% of tyres is made of steel. This steel may be extracted and reused for
various purposes.
 Fiber and nylon- once extracted, this may be used in fiber glass, concrete and carpet
material.
PYROLYSIS OF WASTE TYRES

3.1. TECHNICAL DEFINITION OF PYROLYSIS

Pyrolysis is a thermal process that decomposes an organic material into compounds of a


lower molecular weight under inert conditions. (Cunliffe and Williams, 1998; Amari et al.,
1999). Pyrolysis involves the breaking down of the organic part of a tyre into a gas product,
solid product and liquid product.

In a typical system of waste tyre pyrolysis, the tyres are pyrolysed in a reactor, whereby the
vapour and solid products may be obtained. The vapour product from the reactor is then
condensed to yield a gas and liquid product fraction.

PYRO

CONDENSOR

(APPROX: 0 – 25°C, 100 kPa)

GAS

REACTOR
VAPOUR
(APPROX: 400 – 600 °C,
TYRE CRUMB 100 kPa) PYRO
LIQUID

SOLID (char)

FIGURE 3.1.1: TYPICAL SCHEMATIC OF WASTE TYRE PYROLYSIS


3.2. CURRENT STATUS OF WASTE TYRE PYROLYSIS

Waste tyre pyrolysis is a major issue internationally. The major concern with the disposal of
waste tyres were attributed to the environmental impact, as it posed a major threat to the
environment. Pyrolysis proposes an essentially safe, economical and cost effective method
to deal with the problem of waste tyres. Approximately 60 million tyres are scraped
annually.

Pyrolysis requires a feedstock in the form of waste tyres and plastic. The nature of the
components of tyres makes it an issue as they are not biodegradable. Pyrolysis requires
large amounts of energy to break it into its various components. This demands a high
expenditure which requires investments.

A solution to the problem may be in the form of rethreading to make them usable again.
This is not a very sustainable method as it requires capital which many people lack in South
Africa due to the on-going recession. The pyrolysis process may yield a number of high value
products, making it a very profitable approach to dealing with waste tyres. The chosen
approach to deal with the recycling of the waste tyres, should be one that maximizes
product yield as well as profit. This has opened many research opportunities in the waste
tyre pyrolysis market.

The waste products produced in waste tyre pyrolysis make it a very attractive approach of
dealing with the issue of waste tyres. It is a very cost effective and efficient approach, hence
the major strides in the research of newer technology. Investing in waste tyre pyrolysis now
will prove to be a major driving force in the economy in the future.
3.3. SOME ADVANTAGES OF WASTE TYRE PYROLYSIS

1. The main raw material for waste tyres pyrolysis is waste tyres and plastic scarp,
which is a major issue internationally and needs to be dealt with.
2. The products of waste tyre pyrolysis are valuable like fuel oil, carbon black and steel
which are in great demand in the market nowadays.
3. It’s an ideal choice of an investment as it only requires a smaller investment cost in
comparison to the product yields over a short period of time.
4. The process recycles close to 100% of the waste tyres and there is no material left at
the end of the process.
5. Pyrolysis plant processes is an essentially pollution free process and is therefore very
ecologically friendly.
6. The waste tyre process occurs at a comparatively lower temperature and doesn’t
necessarily require a catalyst, hence making this process very cost efficient.
7. A lower reaction time may ensure higher profits at a higher processing capacity, also
this process requires less manpower and has a negligible maintenance down time.

3.4. SOME DISADVANTAGES OF WASTE TYRE PYROLYSIS

1. *List
3.5. PRINCIPAL PRODUCTS OF WASTE TYRE PYROLYSIS

3.5.1. SOLID PRODUCT

The solid product of pyrolysis is known as char. It contains the inorganic matter of the tyre
ash (zinc oxide, silicates, steel,), as well as carbon black. Sulphur is obtained from a process
known as vulcanization, this forms a part of the product faction. The char product obtained
from this process can be upgraded for use as activated carbon for many different
applications. The carbon black may be used for various industrial uses.

3.5.2. LIQUID PRODUCT

The liquid product (TDO) from waste tyre pyrolysis has a complex composition, consisting of
various hydrocarbons with complex structures. The amount of aromatic and oliphatic
factions varies with the different pyrolysis conditions. The liquid faction is a combination of
the processing oils, organic additives and the various constituents of both the natural and
synthetic rubber. The compositions of the various liquid factions are directly affected by the
different variables pertaining to the pyrolysis reacting conditions. The oil from these factions
has a very high calorific value and may be used as a fuel alternative. The TDO may also be
mixed with diesel as an automotive fuel source.

3.5.3. GAS PRODUCT

The gas faction is the gas remaining from the pyrolysis reactions and is known as “pyrogas”.
The gas contains different olefinic and paraffinic compounds. The gas mainly consists of
hydrogen, butenes, butadiene, carbon dioxide, low concentration sulphur and nitrogen
compounds. The presence of C4 compounds in this faction is mainly given of as a result of
the thermal degradation of the natural and synthetic rubber. The gas given of may also be
used as a fuel to run the pyrolysis plant.
3.6. VARIABLES IN WASTE TYRE PYROLYSIS

3.6.1. TEMPERATURE

The pyrolysis temperature must be high enough as to thermally degrade the waste tyres.
However long gas residence times and high temperatures in the reactor may volatilize the
oil to gas. Hence, an optimum temperature must be put in place in order to maximize oil
production as it is the most valuable of the products. The optimal ranges for oil production
are from 425°C-725C°, which may produce a possible yield of 40% to 60%. The variability in
optimum yields and temperatures may be a result of the varying gas residence type, heating
rate, particle size and the tyre mass flow-rate.

3.6.2. FEEDSTOCK COMPOSITION


There is a difference in the aromatic content of both passenger and truck tyres. The natural
rubber content produced mainly xylene, isoprene, styrene and cumene. Variations in the
sulphur content have been found in the passenger and truck tyres. It was found that tyres
containing more natural rubber had lower sulphur content as compared to synthetic rubber.
It was also found that natural rubber yields the greatest amount of pyrolysis oil. Passenger
tyres tend to produce oil with greater value for chemical production whereas truck tyres
produce an oil better suited for fuel usage.

3.6.3. PARTICLE SIZE

For small particles, the temperature may be seen as uniform throughout whereas for larger
particles, the slower the heating of the interior which leads to the pyrolysis occurring at a
lower temperature. Small particles may be converted to liquid and the gas phase. As for the
larger particles, the interior remains solid. In the case of oil production, a smaller particle
size is desired. If a conversion of large particles, the residence time may be increased but
this will increase the capital costs.

3.6.4. PRESSURE

An increase in the atmospheric pressure has been found to increase the viscosity of the oil.
Although, a decrease in pressure was found to initiate the secondary reactions that lead to
an increase in oil production. A decrease in the amount of secondary reactions can greatly
reduce the amount of gas deposition, hence making the char produced more valuable as an
activated carbon absorbent with a much greater surface area. A decrease in pressure may
also lead to a decrease in temperature which would result in an energy decrease, making it
much more cost effective.

3.6.5. HEATING RATE

The increase in heating rate is directly proportional to the degradation rate. It also has a
direct effect on the temperature at which maximum volatilization takes place. Heating rates,
temperature size and particle size all may lead to possible secondary reactions which can
lead to the formation of gaseous/liquid products. The heating rate also affects the time
taken to complete pyrolysis as well as the energy required for this reaction. Heating rate is
inversely proportional to residence time which leads to a higher energy consumption.
3.7. FLOWRATES THERMAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF ALL PROCESS
STREAMS:

Table 1: Passenger tyre composition: per 10 ton batch:

Component Mass fraction Mass (kg)

Natural rubber 0.14 140

Synthetic rubber 0.27 270

Carbon black 0.28 280

Steel 0.15 150

Fabric, fillers, accelerators, anti-ozonants, etc. 0.17 170

Table 2: Truck tyre composition: per 1 ton:

Component Mass fraction Mass (kg)

Natural rubber 0.27 270

Synthetic rubber 0.14 140

Carbon black 0.28 280

Steel 0.15 150

Fabric, fillers, accelerators, anti-ozonants, etc. 0.17 170


FINANCIAL FEASIBILITY

A financial feasibility plan shows you how much of capital, resources and other financial
aspects that will be needed. Cost of stock, treatment of products, labour costs, electricity
and rent and the process are all factors that affect the pyrolysis process.

The plant that we are investigating is expected to produce 30 ton per product. Products
such as bunker oil, char, steel wire and carbon black are to be produced by this plant.

The actual process where the shredded tyres are converted is brought into consideration
but we also have to account for other costs such as labour costs and electricity.

4.1. FINANCIAL MODEL FOR THIS PYROLYSIS PLANT

 EThekwini municipality electricity rates


 EThekwini municipality water rates
 30 tons per day pyrolysis plant in Cato ridge, Durban, South Africa
 Rent costs of R45 000 per month
 Components of the plant cost $100 000 which was imported from Germany
 The briquetted pyrolysis char is sold at 40% of the coal price in South Africa
 Operation time of plant: 9am to 5pm, 200 days a year
 Waste metal sold at R400/ton
 Improved pyrolysis char converted to industrial grade carbon black costs R2000/ton
 Improved pyrolysis char converted to industrial grade activated carbon black costs
R3000/ton
4.2. FACTORS IMPACTING THE FINANCIAL PLAN

4.2.1. DIRECT PLANT EXPENSES

Purchasing of assets such as equipment, land and buildings are all examples of direct
expenses. In this financial plan we will assume that the cost of the land is R60 000.00 per
month. This also takes into consideration not only the cost of renting the land but also the
cost of improving and developing the plant site like landscaping development and fencing.

4.2.2. EQUIPMENT

Equipment, piping and infrastructure such elevators, ladders, walk ways and other key plant
resources will be assumed to come with the plant itself will cost $100 000.00 which will be
imported from Germany.

4.2.3. COST OF FEEDSTOCK

The main resource in a tyre pyrolysis plant is the tyres. These tyres can be found in
residential, suburban and industrial areas. These tyres will be scattered everywhere across
South Africa therefore to collect them will be both time consuming and costly. In order to
avoid this extra cost we will have to buy tyres directly from the tyre dump clean ups. This
will cost between the ranges of R1000.00–R2500.00 per ton however this cost may vary
depending on the tyre quality. We need to buy the cheapest quality of tyres because once
the tyre undergoes the shredding process and pre-treatment then the previous quality of
the tyre will not matter. The cost of 30 tons of tyres will equal to R1000.00 x 30 tons =
R30 000.00
4.3. UTILITIES

4.3.1. ELECTRICITY

The majority of the electricity consumed in the plant will be because of the equipment such
as heat exchangers, compressors, reactors and other units.

4.3.2. WATER

*research

Utility Unit Unit cost (R)

Power Kwh
Cooling water 𝑚3 30.00
Boiler water feed 𝑚3 35.00
Steam ton 65.00
Nitrogen 𝑚3 3.00
4.4. Operation costs

4.4.1. SALARIES

In an ordinary chemical plant a large work force is needed to operate the machinery and
to oversee the operations of the plant on a daily basis. It is assumed that each worker
will work an average of 9 hours each day, 200 days a year, on the chemical plant. Each
employee will be paid a different salary based on their position in the plant.

For example, the hourly rate of a plant supervisor is R100 an hour. The hourly rate of a
chemical process operator is R95 per hour. Clerical expenses also have to be taken into
account. Also, 4-5 plant operators will be required each shift and a total of 33 employees
will be required on this plant.

4.4.2. MAINTENANCE

The maintenance of equipment on the pyrolysis plant costs between the ranges of 2-25
percent of the cost of the equipment. This is based on the assumption that the
equipment was bought as a whole and not individually. The cost of maintenance of a 30
ton per year pyrolysis plant is R200 000.00 per year.

4.4.3. PLANT OVERHEAD COST

Item Cost Unit Reference

Operating Labor 98,25 R/hour payscale(2019:1)

Supervisor and 112.98 R/hour Peters, Timmerhaus and West


Clerical Expenses (2003:265)
Maintenance 144.40 R/hour Peters, Timmerhaus and West
(2003:268)
Plant Overhead Cost 105.62 R/hour (Makitan 2010:100) and Peters,
Timmerhaus and West (2003:268)
4.4.4. ESTIMATION OF CAPITAL & OPERATING COSTS

The table below shows the yearly costs of running the plant using the formula:

*Hourly cost x 9 hours x 200 days = Yearly cost

Operation Total Cost (R)/year


Operating Labor R707400
Supervisor and Clerical Expenses R203364
Maintenance R205920
Plant Overhead Cost R190116
Power R200000
Cooling water R58086
Boiler water feed R58086
Steam R1144354
Nitrogen R137700
Plant and shipment R4610606.40
Rent R720000
Feedstock R6414840

Total cost of operation R10,039,866,00


4.4.5. INCOME PROJECTIONS

Income projections are the financial results you will see at the end of the financial year
from the business. In the table below the income statement for the pyrolysis plant is
reflected for 1 financial year consisting of 200 operating days for the plant.

Product Quantity Cost per unit Income per year


Steel R/ton R350.00 3 296 160.00
Carbon Black R/ton R2000.00 976 800.00
Activated Carbon Black R/ton R3000.00 1 465 200.00
Bunker Oil R/Liter R6.79 18 889 956.00
Briquetted Char R/ton R500.00 2 197 800.00
IIWTM Subsidy R/ton R310.00 1 860 000.00
Total Income per year R28 685 916,00
ENVIROMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

The recycling of tyres via pyrolysis can impact the environment in a positive way. In the
pyrolysis process, the oil that is produced as a by-product of this process can be used as an
alternative to diesel fuel. It offers an alternative from the harmful processes used to
destroy the tyres. These processes involve burning the tyres which gives off more harmful
emissions that destroys the ozone layer. The dumping of tyres also results in an increase in
pests in the surrounding areas where the tyres are being dumped.

Pyrolysis does however come with some environmental hazards. During the heating
process, the fumes that are released can be harmful to the environment and can be harmful
to the wellbeing of other human beings.

The run off produced during the process will contaminate the ground water and the surface
water. The contaminated water will attract disease carrying insects and this will result in an
outbreak of diseases among the residents of the surrounding areas.

5.1. Emissions given off during pyrolysis

 418 mg/Nm3 of NOX produced during pyrolysis


 993mg/Nm3 of CO produced during pyrolysis
 0.09mg/Nm3 of HF produced during pyrolysis
 1.85mg/Nm3 of HCL produced during pyrolysis
 0.55 mg/Nm3 of TZL{total dust} produced during pyrolysis
 0.813mg/Nm3 of PAH produced during pyrolysis
 20-32 MJ/kg solid waste produced
 41-43 MJ/kg liquid waste produced
 32-36 MJ/kg gas waste produced
5.2. Regulations

The rules and regulations formed to prevent companies using pyrolysis to produce excess
amounts of harmful emissions are the Producers of Responsibility Organisations. They make
sure the producers of the waste are legally responsible for cleaning it up and making sure
they are fined or punished accordingly if it is found that the companies have been breaking
the regulations set for them to follow. The regulations set by the PRO’s differ according to
the type of industry and the area it is located in.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The aim of this assignment was to evaluate the economic feasibility from recovering waste
tyres using pyrolysis and separation processes. This was achieved by investigating various
conceptual processes for the recycling of waste tyres, researching alternative methods of
dealing with waste tyres and proposing processes for converting waste tyres into valuable
chemicals such as limonene and styrene.

The literature review consisted of various methods for the direct disposal methods including
landfills, rethreading devulcanisation and the civil engineering applications associated with
waste tyres. It was then concluded that pyrolysis is the most suitable method for dealing
with this worldwide phenomenon as it was the most environmentally friendly, cost effective
and produced many valuable products that are actually in demand.

This specific assignment placed focus on a few methods of dealing with the waste tyres
issue. In order to make a fair comparison, more research would have to be made in order to
evaluate the recovery of potentially more valuable products of waste tyre pyrolysis. For
example styrene or limonene’s were a few of the high value products. Also research into
various technologies with regards to pyrolysis should be investigated in order for the most
efficient method to be chosen.
REFERENCES

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