On Fractioning the Tire Pyrolysis Oil in a Pilot-Scale Distillation Plant under Industrially Relevant Conditions

Juan Daniel Martínez, Alberto Veses, María Soledad Callén, José Manuel López, Tomás García, Ramón Murillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in an indexed scientific journalpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Tire pyrolysis oil (TPO) is one of the most interesting products derived from the pyrolysis of end-of-life tires. Among others, it contains valuable chemicals, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX), as well as limonene. In order to recover these chemicals, a pilot-scale distillation plant has been designed, erected, and operated using TPO derived from an industrial-scale pyrolysis plant. The distillation facility consists of a packed column (20 kg/h) and is within the fifth technological readiness level. This work describes for the first time the fractioning of the TPO in a continuous operational mode under industrially relevant conditions. For this purpose, different reboiler temperatures (250-290 °C) and reflux ratios (up to 2.4) were preliminarily assessed on the yields and properties of the resulting products: light fraction (LF) and heavy fraction (HF). Thus, the distillation plant is capable of producing 27.0-36.7 and 63.3-73.0 wt % of LF and HF, respectively. The highest BTEX concentration in the LF (55.2 wt %) was found using a reboiler temperature of 250 °C and a reflux ratio of 2.4. Contrarily, the highest limonene concentration (4.9 wt %) in the LF was obtained at 290 °C in the reboiler without reflux. In this sense, the lower the reboiler temperature, the higher the BTEX, and the lower the limonene concentration in the LF. The main results herein obtained serve to gain key insights to operate packed distillation columns using complex and promising hydrocarbons as TPO in order to recover valuable products. In addition, this work provides significant information for optimizing the recovery efficiencies of both BTEX and limonene, as well as their potential applications including that for the resulting HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2886-2896
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number4
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

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© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.


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