HYFUEL oil purification project receives €2m funding boost

Norwegian waste tyre recycling company Wastefront and Swedish chemical engineering company Hulteberg Chemistry & Engineering have been awarded €2m to conduct HYFUEL, an oil purification project.

Wastefront/Connor Batty

The total project-funding amounts to €2.076m with €1.038m from Eureka Eurostars and €1.038m from project partners.

HYFUEL is developing a novel catalyst approach to purify pyrolysis oil extracted from end-of-life tyres (ELTs). The HYFUEL process will enable Wastefront to increase the value of its existing biofuel by optimising some of the characteristics of Tyre Derived Oil (TDO) when it is transformed into renewable fuels for several applications.

Wastefront’s TDO qualifies as a biofuel under price premium schemes, but the pre-treatment of pyrolysis feed and upgrading of TDO means that HYFUEL’s optimised tyre pyrolysis oil can be used as a substitution for diesel fuel without the need for further refining. According to Wastefront, the  HYFUEL process does not require high temperatures for operation, leading to lower energy consumption and lower carbon emissions.


In a statement, Henrik Selstam, CTO of Wastefront, said: “The purification of pyrolysis oil is a critical next step for our industry as we strive to implement greener, more efficient ways to utilise end-of-life-tyres, which too often still end up in landfills or being burnt in cement kilns. Ground breaking projects like this, underpinned by collaboration, innovation and intent at their core, are undoubtedly the key to realising the net-zero transition at the pace the future of our planet so clearly requires.”

Carbon black

Wastefront recently announced a partnership with Newcastle University for an 18-month study into how the production of recovered carbon black can be improved. This will focus on developing methods to reduce inorganic components in recovered carbon black, understanding how different solvents which have varying degrees of dispersion interact, and developing methods to better understand the nature of the surface within the recovered carbon black material.

The company’s pyrolytic reactors utilise thermal depolymerisation (pyrolysis) to break down a tyre’s materials at elevated temperatures. By sending tyres through these reactors, recovered carbon black (rCB) is produced, in addition to combustible gas, liquid hydrocarbon, and heat. The carbon black is then washed, milled and used as a reinforcement for natural rubber in tyre production, mechanical rubber goods or as a filler for plastics.

Once fully operational in 2025, Wastefront’s new £100m tyre recycling plant in Sunderland will produce rCB from 20 per cent of the UK’s ELTs. By integrating Wastefront’s rCB into new tyres, the emissions for each tyre produced will be reduced by 80 per cent.