New Technology Converts Tires to Oil

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As seen on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet earlier this month, New Jersey-based Global Resource Corporation has patented a new technology that uses microwave energy to extract oil from waste tires without producing toxic emissions.

The GRC process uses tires to produce carbon black, which is typically used to make more rubber. GRC estimates that it can convert a ton of waste tires into as much as 400 pounds of reusable carbon black, which typically sells for $2,000 a ton.

Photo: Flickr/Oriolus

In the U.S., 920 million tires were used for non-commercial vehicles on the road in 2005, and every year on average, 290 million tires are disposed. Photo: Flickr/Oriolus

GRC is currently researching other products from which to extract energy, such as municipal solid waste (MSW). Both tires and MSW are already burned for fuel, but in this process carbon dioxide is released, creating questions about the eco-friendliness of waste-to-energy processes. The GRC process does not use oxygen to produce energy, therefore carbon dioxide is not produced as a byproduct.

The issue of how to dispose of tires is of environmental importance, as states face growing stockpiles, and the health impacts of using shredded tires in other capacities continues to be a topic of debate. GRC is looking to roll out its first tire recycling machine for commercial use next year.

“The ultimate goal is for this technology to make such a significant contribution that it motivates the world’s business and political leaders to embrace it as the de facto standard for processing waste materials,” says Eric Swain, GRC’s chairman and CEO.

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger

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  1. Well boys for the last 35 years or more taking tires to oil or tires to gold or lead to gold has been one of the biggest scams in the green industry that is still thriving…and still taking millions in dollars from investors who want to make gold from tires…

    Sad fact and if you want to know real truths and support tires to oil then give me a call..

    We have lots of stories and lots of proof that its a spoof…but maybe someday it can be a reality…but for now its still a scam..

    dan burda
    worldwide tire recycling expert
    first in the world to pioneer this field
    first to build equipment for this field
    and still going strong

  2. sir is very pity that in Africa there is no way out that one can do with scrap tires.I was thinking how best you can help the whole of Africa from this mess.If there is any way out please help.I cannot say more until i have a positive respond.

    thanks cheers
    Fanding darboe

  3. Pingback: Making Old Tires Into Oil : The Hill in the Village

  4. There has been talk like this around for the past 40 years. I have personally been involved in the oil refining and tire compounding business for over 30 years. First, the “carbon black” described in this article is not carbon black. It’s “char”. Carbon black is used in tires (around 30%) to impart abrasion resistance and cut resistance to tire compound (SBR Polymer).The char recovered from tires has none of these imparting characteristics. It’s basically worthless. The “oil’ is a low flash, smelly material that requires further processing in distillation, hydrogenation and other processing steps to give material any commercial value. The oil is comprised of hundreds different hydrocarbon compounds. I know of no serious R/D work ever being done on this oil. How do I know all this? I was involved in a multi million dollar project back in the 80’s. We built a plant and I was hired as primary consultant on sales and marketing side for by products. I have worked with all the major tire mfgs over the years on compounding issues. They would not touch the “carbon black” produced from this process with a 10 ft pole.

  5. Chris Kenney,
    You by anychance didn’t work with Energy Conversion Corp. did you? If so you know the machine did work. I know because I ran the thing. Not only could it do tires but anything you wanted to put through it. The oil might of sucked but the gas was as hot as hell. As for the carbon black all me made was sold. Oh it could do all of this continuous, working off it’s own fuel and 98% pollution free. Funny how it just vanished. The man who invented the thing showed me everything needed to know what made it work.

  6. Seems to me that, there are few different opinions, but the question remain, is there any technology to recyle the used tire and make something worthwhlie?
    I heard about this technology about two years ago, somebody in USA was using it, and extracting not only oil, but also steel and carbon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I have been in the automotive bussiness since I was twelve, if there is a such place or process I would love to know about it!!! I did here something of a guy that would buy old useless tires to turn into or sell to a “refinery” thats makes “Oil”, Ok . Where is this guy or guys like him, I can get my hands on about as many tires as they can handle-forever!!!! I also have an endless # of friends within my same bussiness type-combined can feed these “refinerys” until their faces turn to a pale GREY…. you want to save the earth-thats awsome, I’ll help you save the earth-you help me make some$$$$$$$$$$ as I clean up my junkyard and the beautiful backroads of Virginia. You got real info….I really have alot of tires-HELP ME HELP YOU-BE REAL-JwK/a.k.a.J_B

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