Sorption of Rubber

Topics: Petroleum, Water, Oil spill Pages: 22 (6166 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Sorption Evaluation of Waste Tire Rubber for Spill Oil Recovery and to optimize the Sorption with respect to Particle Size and Temperature.

Project Advisor

Miss Nida Qamar

Group Members

Ahmad Shakeel (Group Leader) (2009-PE-34)
Mohsin Ali Khan (2009-PE-52) Asif Ali (2009-PE-56) Ali Sher (2008-PPE-46)

Department of Polymer & Process Engineering
University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore

Date of Submission: February 22, 2013


Waste tire related environmental problems and its recycling techniques have been a major challenge to society. The abundant and indiscriminant disposal of waste tires has caused both health and environmental problems. Current waste tire recycling market is too small to accommodate the tire generated annually. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to develop new markets for waste tires. Oil is one of the most important energies and raw material sources for synthetic polymers and chemicals worldwide. Whenever oil is explored, transported and stored, there is risk of spillage with the potential to cause significant environmental impact. Pollution by petroleum oils affects sea life, economy, tourism and leisure activities because of the coating properties of these materials. Tire rubber is flexible and has hydrophobic (oil-philic) characteristics, making it a good candidate as oil absorbent. In this study, the possibility of applying waste tire powder as a sorbent for the recovery of spilled oil was explored. Rubber particles of mesh sizes within the range of 0.5 to 1.65 mm were used to absorb different oils at different temperatures. The results of this study indicated that sorption capacity increased as the tire powder particle size decreased and environmental temperature increased. Similarly, sorption capacity increased for the recovery of lower viscosity oils compared with the higher viscosity oils. Furthermore, the rapid increase in oil absorption within the first 5 min was followed by a much slower rate, with the equilibrium absorption being attained after 20 min.


Oil pollution of marine environments is becoming a more serious issue with the growth of the off-shore petroleum industry and the necessity of marine oil transportation. One of the methods to solve this problem is by using oil absorptive resins, which can collect and remove the oil spilled on water, and some have proved to be highly efficient. However, the high cost of the absorptive materials limits their applications. Therefore, it is necessary to seek a cost-effective way to produce an absorptive material for oil cleanup.

As the biggest share amongst waste polymers in world, waste tire rubber does not decompose easily owing to its cross-linked structure and presence of stabilizers and other additives. In the industrialized world approximately one used tire is produced per capita per year. Most of these tires are simply dumped in the open or in landfills. This is environmentally not acceptable. Tire piles can be the source of very toxic emissions in the case of a fire and may act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Therefore, reuse or recycling of scrap tires becomes an important social subject.

Several recycling methods exist. After retreading of the carcass, the tires may be reused. Ground tires can be used in civil engineering applications, for example as an additive in road pavement. By pyrolysis the tire rubber is cracked into oils and gas, and the carbon black filler is recovered. Over the last few years most commercial tire recycling processes have focused on the use of ground tire rubber in different applications including as an additive in playground surfaces, in rubber roofs, in drainage systems and in floor mats. A major market for scrap tires is their utilization as solid fuels, especially in...
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