This work intends to provide important insights about the end-of-life tires status in some Latin American countries regarding generation rates, regulations, and current recovery processes, while describing the potential of pyrolysis to support a sustainable and circular economy for valorizing this waste. Pyrolysis enables separating the main end-of-life tires components (natural and synthetic rubber, and carbon black), creating favorable conditions for a circular economy. The resulting products can be regarded as energy commodities since both, the tire pyrolysis oil and the tire pyrolysis gas, are combustibles. The recovered carbon black, also obtained in the process, can be considered as chemical commodity if its physicochemical properties are adequate. Although the pyrolysis of this waste has been around for some time in the world, there is limited information, and not enough research projects and experiences in Latin America. This work also reviews the academic production on this field, and gathers important operational characteristics of the industrial-scale plants found in the region. Some challenges are also proposed considering threats and weaknesses from different points of view. Likewise, some opportunities related to the characteristics of the pyrolysis products as energy and chemical commodities are outlined. Among others, the opportunities encompass a quantitative estimation of both tire pyrolysis oil and recovered carbon black for some Latin American countries. The tire pyrolysis oil is proposed as alternative of the oil consumption, and the percentage of substitution is provided.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author would like to express his gratitude to COLCIENCIAS for the financial support given by the research project (1210-715-51742). Special thanks to Camilo Uribe for his valuable help proofreading this paper and Juan José Osorio for providing Fig. 1 d.
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd
- Circular economy
- End-of-life tire
- Latin America
- Waste management
- Waste tire