A game changing report on waste tyre derived fuels

Associate professor Maciej Mikulski has recently published a game changing scientific article about combustion engine applications of waste tire pyrolytic oil in prestigious Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.

Mikulski works as an associate professor of internal combustion engines (tenure track) at the University of Vaasa (School of Technology and Innovation & VEBIC research platform).

Waste tyres can be used for fuel production – suitable for marine and off-road applications

According to the article, world's end of life tyre availability as feedstock for fuel production is comparable with the one of biofuels. At the same time, tyre pyrolysis oil (TPO) has favourably low well-to-tank CO2 impact while forming promising short-term transition route for marine and off-road applications. Those domains currently find it hard to compete economically over renewable resources with on-road transport and aviation, while being particularly constraint to combustion engines by excessive energy density requirements.

The waste tyre to fuel roadmap has been widely considered, but the debate suffers from ambiguity in legislation, process economy, environmental impact and end-use constraints. While separating the “wheat from the chaff” in abundant worldwide research, the article takes into detail discussion over 200 influential original research papers, bridging the latest knowledge from several domains related to TPO fuel application: industrial management, process chemistry, fuel science and combustion/engine research. It complements the drawbacks of those domain-individual perspectives, producing the holistic view.

As a general outcome, this review creates a route towards modern multidisciplinary research supporting TPO´s role in global transition to circular economy.

Unique review process: "a real scientific debate"

Associate professor Mikulski as the leading invited author formed a team of professional chemists, combustion engine experts and environmentalists to take on the challenges of elaborating the topic. Principle researchers from two Polish Universities (Lublin Technical University and University of Warmia and Mazury) contributed directly as co-authors. All authors have broad project experience with TPO.

However, this work has many excellent contributors that stayed in the shadows. In the overall two years of preparing the original manuscript, we have consulted over 20 project partners and research pears working in this field. To this end, also the peer review process in Progress in Energy and Combustion Science is unique. We have been assigned ten reviewers/editorial board members all being world-renown authorities in the fields of Energy and Fuels. They worked closely with us to help work-out the issue up to the highest standards. The review process, that on its own lasted over a year was a real scientific debate on the highest level, and an incredible learning opportunity, says Mikulski.

Further reading

Mikulski M., Ambrosewicz-Walacik M., Hunicz J., Nitkiewicz S. Combustion engine applications of waste tyre pyrolytic oil. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Volume 85, 2021, 100915; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2021.100915.


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