Opportunities and barriers for producing high quality fuels from the pyrolysis of scrap tires

Idoia Hita, Miriam Arabiourrutia, Martin Olazar, Javier Bilbao, José María Arandes, Pedro Castaño Sánchez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


The 7·106 t of waste tires that are generated yearly represent for a potential source of fuels considering its composition, rich in C and H, and its chemical features. Waste tires can be recycled through several processes aiming for either material, energy, or chemical product recovery. In this work we review the current status of these valorization pathways, with a particular focus on pyrolysis, its main products and their characteristics. Despite the extended reviews on the pyrolysis of tires, scarce material is available regarding the possibilities that scrap tires pyrolysis oil (STPO) offers and its limitations. STPO is both the most economically and energetically attractive product, and its composition (as obtained by different authors) is analyzed in this work, finding that the main barriers to solve for its direct implementation are (i) high sulfur content, (ii) high content of aromatics and (iii) high proportion of heavy molecules (>350 °C). From an industrial perspective, a sequential 2-stage hydrotreating-hydrocracking strategy has been proposed for STPO upgrading in order to simultaneously overcoming all these limitations and produce high quality fuels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-759
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Economy and Competitivity of the Spanish Government ( CTQ2010-19623 and CTQ2012-35192 ), the ERDF funds, the Basque Government ( SAIOTEK SA-2011/00098 , SA-2013/00173 and IT748-13 ), and the University of the Basque Country ( UFI 11/39 ). Idoia Hita is also grateful for her Basque Government Research Training grant ( BFI2010-223 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Automotive fuels
  • Hydroprocessing
  • Pyrolysis
  • Scrap tires pyrolysis oil
  • Waste tires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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