Chemical Engineering Communications, Vol.205, No.6, 805-821, 2018
Evaluation of pyrolytic oil from used tires and natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis)
The pyrolysis of used tires, UT, and natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), NR obtained from Nigerian NIG800 clonal rubber tree, was performed and the effects of process conditions on product yield were investigated. An optimum yield was attained at operating temperature of 600 degrees C, a heating rate of 15 degrees Cmin(-1), for a feed size of 6mm. The UT and NR gave maximum pyrolytic oil yield of 34.40 and 75.93wt%, respectively. The pyrolytic oil was characterized using Fourier transform infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance, and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Results obtained reveal the pyrolytic oil to be a complex mixture, mainly of aliphatic and aromatic compounds, which can serve as feedstock for industrial application. Nevertheless, a comparative evaluation of the physical and chemical properties of the UT and NR pyrolytic oil showed that NR had hydrocarbon composition of 80% aliphatics, 12% aromatics (with less than 2% polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentration). However, the UT pyrolytic oil had 42% aliphatic and 34% aromatic compounds (with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons concentrations of 18%). Also, NR pyrolytic oil had better physical properties such as density, viscosity, flash point, pour point, and higher heating value than that produced from UT in this study, and comparable with that of commercial diesel. Moreover, sulfur content, which is a limiting factor in the direct combustion of UT pyrolytic liquid, was absent in NR pyrolytic oil. Hence, it is technologically feasible for NR from H. brasiliensis to be a suitable source of pyrolytic oil than UT.