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Research shows recycled tyre oil sustainable

Exhaust emissions from oil from recycled tyres have been found to have 30 per cent less nitrogen oxide, contributing to photochemical smog and lower particle mass than oil from fossil sources, but almost the same performance.

The research, conducted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), included mechanical engineers testing the oil that – when blended with diesel in small percentages – gives a fuel that reduces emissions and with no loss of engine performance. The percentage of fossil fuel was varied during the tests and will continue to be in subsequent testing.

The tyre oil comes from new tyre recycling technology and is a world break-through that was developed by Australian company, Green Distillation Technologies (GDT).

GDT collaborated with QUT mechanical engineer Professor Richard Brown and PhD student Bangladeshi-born Farhad Hossain to test the oil for emissions and performance at the QUT Biofuel Engine Research Facility.

“There are 1.5 billion tonnes of tyres discarded globally each year and Australia, alone, generates around 55 million disused tyres a year by 2020, while the USA more than 200 million,” Hossain said. “Getting rid of old tyres – in an environmentally-friendly way – is a universal nightmare for authorities.”

Green Distillation Technologies Chief Operating Officer, Trevor Bayley, said that up to this stage they had believed the oil from the recycled tyres could be used without refinement as a heating fuel or further refined into automotive or aviation jet fuel, but the QUT research could change this assumption.

“We are delighted at the findings of the QUT research as it will help us promote the sustainable use for end-of-life tyres, as it has already been found by refinery Southern Oil that our oil from recycled tyres has been overlooked as a potential biofuel source, yet they say it is the most reliable and easiest to refine of all.

“A recycled 10kg car tyre will yield four kilograms of carbon, 1.5kg of steel and four litres of oil, while the 70kg truck tyre provides 28kg of carbon, 11kg of steel and 28 litres of oil.

“We have been studying the logistics of how to handle those extra-large ‘off the road’ tyres (OTRs) that are used by heavy duty mining dump trucks, large agricultural tractors and road making equipment.”

GDT was Australia’s first ever nominee in the US International Edison Awards last year, the world’s top award for innovation where they won a bronze medal.

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