Producing low-carbon fuels from waste tyres

Monday, 25 January, 2021

Producing low-carbon fuels from waste tyres

UK petroleum fuel distributor Greenergy has announced that they will invest in front-end engineering design (FEED) of a project to produce low-carbon transportation fuels from waste tyres.

In the first phase, the planned facility will process up to 300 tons of shredded tyres each day to produce low-carbon, low-sulfur drop-in fuels that can be blended into diesel and petrol. A second hydro-treating unit will have the capacity to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

An estimated 1.5 billion tyres are discarded each year worldwide, creating significant waste. This project is believed to be the first of its kind to use waste tyres as feedstock for low-carbon, low-sulfur fuel production. The tyres will be pyrolysed to produce pyrolysis oil that can be catalytically converted into fuel using Topsoe’s HydroFlex technology.

The process also recovers carbon black that can be reused in the circular economy for the production of new tyres and other industrial rubber products. The facility will also have the optionality to include an independent plant that could produce SAF. This plant will also use the HydroFlex technology.

“We have been exploring innovative ways to produce liquid fuels from different waste products to continue to create new forms of development fuels and deliver further carbon savings in the years ahead,” said Christian Flach, CEO of Greenergy. “This milestone for the project is a key part of our strategy to expand our industry-leading renewables business. Our customers will continue to benefit from our integrated approach to manufacturing and blending of renewable fuels.”

The plant is earmarked to be located at Thames Enterprise Park, subject to planning approval and with a view to commence commercial production in 2025.

“We are very happy that Greenergy has selected Topsoe’s HydroFlex technology for this innovative project,” said Fei Chen, SVP Clean Fuels & Chemicals Technology, Haldor Topsoe. “We are excited to work closely with Greenergy and their partners to build the world’s first commercial plant to produce low-carbon transportation fuels from waste tyres in the near future. This is very much in line with Topsoe’s vision to be recognised as the global leader in carbon emission reduction technologies by 2024.”

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