Commercial bio-fuel producer Muradel has taken some big steps forward in their revolutionary quest to recycle used tyres into bio crude oil.
Over two weeks, technical experts from India and Japan working around the clock with local staff at Whyalla produced bulk samples of kerogen, the forerunner to automotive fuels and oils.
Kerogen features a suite of different molecules from light oil through to heavy crude oil and Carbon black which is used for tyre-making. Most of the light oils can be used in diesel fuel.
New CEO Geoff Rayson explained the process of turning tyre rubber into kerogen to the Whyalla News.
“Our prototype Sub Critical Water Reactor (SCWR) dissolves ground-up tyre rubber in water under high pressure and heat, in a process is known as hydrothermal liquefaction,” he said.
“Our next phase will be to customise the SCWR to handle different feeds of tyres and other organic materials that can be processed through the reactor.
“Several inquiries have been forthcoming for purchasing modified reactors, mainly from Europe, Japan and India. There are very few of these large reactors in the world.
“We don’t know of anyone in the world that is commercially doing this with tyres. We’re quite comfortable that we are in the right field.”
Mr Rayson thanked the state government for providing grant funding for the tyres to oil project, and Member for Giles Eddie Hughes for his assistance in winning the grants.
Muradel is currently part way through another project to produce high protein micro-algae for making specialty plastic polymers which could be an export opportunity for Australia.
They hope to have more news on this project by the second half of the year.