Wealth from Waste: Preparation of Activated Carbon from Tyre Waste
Volumn 4

Wealth from Waste: Preparation of Activated Carbon from Tyre Waste

S.N. Rao*, Aditi Pandey, Mangesh Dhore, Manjiri Nagmote,Pradeep Pipalatkar

*Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Priyadarshini Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nagpur, India

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Priyadarshini Institute of Engineering and Technology, Nagpur, India


The tyre waste obtained by the pyrolysis method was treated to convert  it in to activated carbon which can be used as an adsorbent. The adsorption capacity of untreated and treated  tyre waste was determined by methylene blue (MB)number. The Methylene blue number of tyre waste  could be increased  from 71 mg/g to  229  to 285 mg/g, by treating it with potassium hydroxide as an activating agent.

Keywords: Tyre Waste, Activated Carbon, Methylene blue number.


The disposal of vehicle tyres is a major environmental issue  all over the world. Globally, every year more than a million tyre wastes is produced   There are various methods for  disposing off tyre waste. In some countries, it is used  in road making,  cement industries etc.,  but it is not   effectively  to a large extent (1,2). The tires take up large amounts of valuable landfill space and also represent a fire hazard.  A large mountain of tyres caught on fire with widespread environmental consequences due to the oils and gases generated from the decomposing tires. A better solution from an environmental and economic standpoint is to thermally reprocess the tires into valuable products. Pyrolysis has been widely used for converting solid fossil fuels, e.g. coal, into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, a process which results in a solid char residue. The 1000 kg of nylon waste tyres contains   approximately   300-350 kg of carbon black and have the potential to be processed to produce higher value activated carbons.   In view of this, present work is on conversion of tyre waste into activated carbon which has  important application as an adsorbent in different industries.

Activated carbons with developed porous texture and high surface area have been widely used as pollution control adsorbents to adsorb a range of pollutant gases from flue gas streams. An interesting environmental and sustainable concept is to convert waste materials to activated carbons which are then used in pollution control applications. Many researchers have reported  the production of activated carbons from various solid wastes materials such as ligno-cellulosic materials (3), corn cob (4),  Kraft lignin (5), Scrap tyres (6), textile waste (7), rice husk (8) and palm shell (9).

Activated carbons can be prepared either by physical or chemical activation. Physical activation involves pyrolysis of the feedstock followed by the activation of the resultant char with steam or CO2 as the activating agent (10,11,12). In chemical activation, the precursor is impregnated or mixed with chemical agents such as KOH, NaOH, H3PO4 and K2CO3 which promotes the formation of cross-links and the formation of a carbon with a rigid matrix (13,14,15,16,17,18,19). In relation to chemical activation, both the activation preparation process parameters and the type of feedstock precursor have been shown to influence the properties and characteristics and consequently the end-use application of the product activated carbon (20,21,22).

This work investigates the potential of a low cost waste derived feedstock resource to produce a valuable adsorbent. The production of activated carbons from waste tyres was investigated via chemical activation with alkali activating agent like KOH.


Activated carbon was prepared by chemical treatment using potassium hydroxide as an   activating agent.  The   tyre waste  samples  obtained  from   tyre industry   was  activated by   treatment  with potassium  hydroxide  at different temperature in muffle furnace. One gm of sample was initially kept in   oven   for  removal of moisture  for  2 hrs.  Dried sample was  impregnated with 4gm of potassium hydroxide and   kept in muffle furnace at  different  temperature   ranging from 200- 5000C for 5 minutes. After treatment, samples  were washed with water and  dried in oven before  determination of methylene blue number.

The methylene blue number was determined by the standard  method of  ASTM.  In this method,  0.1 gm of dried untreated and  treated  samples  were  taken in a shaking bottle with 100ml of 100 ppm methylene blue solution.  The solution was kept for  24 hr shaking and  centrifuged.  The absorbance were recorded against standard curve at  wavelength of  663 nm using  UV-VIS double beam spectrophotometer, (systronic –AU 2701).

Result and Discussion

The untreated samples were tested for adsorption capacity using methylene blue number determination  and result was found to be   71.6 mg/g . The treated samples were analysed  the results  ranged from  229 mg/g to 287 mg/g. The results indicated that the carbon black from tyre waste is converted into activated carbon.

The tyre waste sample when treated  with   concentrated KOH under  the high temperature, then hydrocarbon and other organic  impurities associated with tyre waste get cleaved by KOH   therefore its adsorption capacity was increased.

Table 1:  MB number at different  temperature and time


 In the present study of tire pyrolysis, we have  produced high surface activated carbons from tire chars, which have further application in various industries like, Textile, Pharmaceutical etc.


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