Scrap tyre pyrolysis: Modified chemical percolation devolatilization (M-CPD) to describe the influence of pyrolysis conditions on product yields

Vincent Tan, Anthony De Girolamo, Tahereh Hosseini, Jameel Aljariri Alhesan, Lian Zhang

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper attempts to develop a modified chemical percolation devolatilization (M-CPD) model that can include heat transfer, primary pyrolysis and the secondary cracking reactions of volatiles together to describe the pyrolysis of waste scrap tyre chip, as well as to examine the influence of operating conditions on the scrap tyre pyrolysis product yields. Such a study has yet to be conducted in the past, thereby leading to a large knowledge gap failing to understand the pyrolysis of the coarse feedstock appropriately. To validate the developed model, a number of operating parameters including reactor configurations, carrier gas compositions (argon and argon blended with CO2 and/or steam), scrap tyre chip size (0.5–15.0 mm), terminal pyrolysis temperature (400–800 °C) and heating rate (10 °C/min and 110 °C/min) were examined in a lab-scale fixed-bed pyrolyser, with a particular focus on the secondary cracking extents of the liquid tar. Through both experimental investigation and modelling approach, it was found that significant secondary cracking extent occurred upon the increase in the feedstock size, heating rate and residence time. Upon the fast pyrolysis, the average temperature gap between the centres of the coarse particle and reactor wall could reach a maximum of 115 °C for the tyre chips of 6–15 mm. Consequently, its primary volatiles underwent the secondary cracking reaction at an overall extent of 17% at a terminal temperature of 600 °C and a fast heating rate of 110 °C/min. Consequently, the yield of light gases including methane was increased remarkably. The flow rate of inert carrier gas was also influential in the secondary cracking, in which a maximum tar yield (54 wt%) was reached at a carrier gas flow rate of 1.5 L/min. This indicates the occurrence of secondary cracking has been largely minimised. At a pyrolysis temperature of 600 °C, the addition of CO2 in the carrier gas had an insignificant effect on the product yield distribution under the slow heating scheme. In contrast, the addition of steam resulted in a slight increase of carbon monoxide, presumably due to the occurrence of gasification reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • M-CPD model
  • Pyrolysis
  • Secondary cracking reaction
  • Waste tyre

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