Recovery and evaluation of the solid products produced by thermocatalytic decomposition of tire rubber compounds
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A thermal catalytic decomposition process has been developed to recycle used tire rubber. This process enables the recovery of useful products, such as hydrocarbons and carbon blacks. During the catalytic decomposition process, the tire rubber is decomposed into smaller hydrocarbons, which are collected in the process. The solid reaction residue, which normally consists of carbon black, catalysts, other inorganic rubber compound components, and organic carbonaceous deposits, was subjected to a series of treatments with the intention to recover the valuable carbon black and catalyst. The process economics depend strongly on the commercial value of the recovered carbon black and the ability to recover and recycle the catalysts used in the process. Some of the important properties of the recovered carbon black product have been characterized and compared with that of commercial-grade carbon blacks. The composition of the recovered carbon black was analyzed by TGA and EDX, the structure and morphology were studied through transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the specific surface area was measured by BET nitrogen adsorption. The recovered products possess qualities at least comparable to (or even better than) that of the commercial-grade carbon black N660. Methods for increasing the market value of this recovered carbon black product are discussed. Anhydrous aluminum chloride (AlCl3) was used as the primary catalyst in the process. A catalyst recovery method based on the AlCl3 sublimation and recondensation was studied and found to be non-feasible. It is believed that the catalyst forms an organometallic complex with the decomposed hydrocarbons, such that it becomes chemically bonded to the residue material and hence not removable by evaporation. A scheme for the further study of the catalyst recovery is suggested.
Liang, Lan (2004). Recovery and evaluation of the solid products produced by thermocatalytic decomposition of tire rubber compounds. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from