New real-life research into recycled tyre oil

New Australian research into the properties of oil from recycled tyres will evaluate the performance and emissions of commercial vehicles under actual operating conditions including engines that are representative of heavy duty trucks, light weight commercial vehicles, 4x4s and SUVs.

The ‘on-truck’ tests will be conducted on a Kenworth K200 semi-trailer that will leave the Tytec Logistics depot at Wacol, Brisbane this week and undertake the 1200-kilometre journey to the Rio Tinto Hail Creek mine, south of Mackay, North Queensland. It was slated for departure on Tuesday 7 November, with the actual results to be calculated and revealed a week later.

The truck will be fuelled with a mixture of 10 per cent recycled tyre oil and standard diesel and 100 per cent diesel on the return journey to provide a comparison.

It will be followed by a Hyundai 2017 iLoad which has a 2.5 L diesel engine, that is similar to many other diesel vehicles on the market in Australia, as well as most 4WD/SUV diesels that are in the 2.2 to 3 L in capacity.

The van will transport the team from QUT and Deakin University who are conducting the research and will be responsible for monitoring the portable performance and emissions measuring equipment.

This vehicle will also be fuelled with a mixture of the recycled tyre oil and diesel so that the emissions and performance can be measured on the 1200-kilometre return journey.

The purpose of this research is to compensate for what is now known as the ‘Volkswagen Factor’ as the previous research was done on a bench test in a laboratory.

That research was conducted by QUT and found that the recycled tyre oil, when it was mixed as a percentage with standard diesel fuel, had exhaust emissions with thirty per cent less nitrogen oxide, which contributes to photochemical smog and lower particle mass than emissions from standard diesel oil, but almost the same performance.

The tyre oil comes from tyre recycling technology developed by Australian company Green Distillation Technologies.

This new research will be carried out by the Biofuel Engine Research Facility of QUT, under the supervision of Professor Richard Brown in association with Melbourne’s Deakin University with Dr Tim Bodisco who has Australian and United Kingdom experience with on-road vehicle testing.

Professor Richard Brown said that the on-road truck test would be able to confirm the basic results of the previous research which found a 30 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide which contributes to photochemical smog, and lower particle mass which means fewer problems for emission treatment systems.

“We have been asked why we are adding 10 per cent of recycled tyre oil to the diesel and not using 100 per cent tyre oil as the fuel we are testing. The answer is that diesel engines in Australia are designed to run on diesel fuel that is refined to a particular standard, while the tyre oil is an unrefined crude oil,” Professor Brown said.

Green Distillation Technologies Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley said that the research is important as they are currently building a plant in Perth, Western Australia to recycle oversize tyres.

“We have already done the hard yards over the past year to work out the logistics of how to efficiently and economically recycle oversize tyres that weigh four tonnes through a complex heat and pressure process.

“The benefits of recycling oversize tyres are considerable as a tyre that weighs four tonnes will yield 1,500 litres of oil, 1.5 tonnes of carbon, as well as the steel reinforcing which n go back to the tyre manufacturer for reuse.”

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