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It is estimated that the amount of used car tires in the European Union in 2016 was established at the level of 3,515,000 Mg, which is undoubtedly a problem from the point of view of engineering and environmental protection. An alternative to storing this waste in landfills is their pyrolysis. As a result of thermal decomposition, calorific value products (oil and gas fraction) are obtained, as well as a solid residue, which due to its composition and properties can be processed into a high quality carbon sorbent. For this purpose, various methods of modification of the pyrolyzate are used, both involving physical and chemical activation. This article presents the characteristics of solid residue after the pyrolysis of rubber tires running at a temperature of about 400°C, which included an analysis of chemical composition (XRF and IR), mineralogical composition (XRD, SEM-EDS) and textural characteristics. Additionally, for the purpose of activation, the sample was treated with nitrogen at a temperature of 550°C. The mineralogical analysis showed that the dominant mineral component is carbon. In addition, the presence of quartz, calcite and sphalerite was observed. Analysis of the chemical composition suggests that due to the high carbon content (about 80% by mass) it is possible for a carbon sorbent from the analyzed waste to be obtained. However, previous preliminary studies did not allow a material constituting a substitute for activated carbon to be obtained, because the applied modification only slightly increased the BET specific surface area, which reached the value of approx. 85 m2/g. Based on the analysis of the pore size distribution of the 2 tested samples, it was found to be homogeneous/modal with a micro/mesoporous nature, while the shape of the hysteresis loop suggests the presence of “bottle shape” pores. Due to the relatively high content of zinc, the composition of waste (about 4% of mass), the possibility of recovery of this element should also be considered.
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