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Tire Fractionation Converts Whole Tires To Clean Fuel Without Burning The Tires.

Tires are a fixture in our transportation.  A large number of tires are replaced each year (on average, one per person in the U.S.). Without proper management, used tires can create significant environmental, health, and safety problems.  However, used tires can be reclaimed in the form of valuable energy and reusable steel in a sustainable and very competitive economic model.

Combustion of tires to recover energy fails to fully reuse tire resources.  Tire fractionation is an innovative, patented technology that does not involve shredding or burning tires and that has many environmental benefits.  Tire fractionation technology converts tires directly into a clean gas fuel, and also recovers the high-quality steel belts for reuse.  Tire-derived clean gas fuel is as renewable and sustainable as the tire replacement cycle.

 What Is Tire Fractionation Technology?

Tire fractionation is a closed loop system that generates zero emissions.  No combustion occurs in the process.  All of the tire components are recovered either as a clean fuel or as recycled steel.  The process involves the controlled exposure of tires to heat that converts the non-metallic portion of the tires to gaseous fuel and carbon particles. 

 How Does It Work?

A vertical column is installed adjacent to the boiler.  A slip of combustion off gas from the boiler is directed to the base of the column and rises through the column.   This gas stream is high in temperature while being low in oxygen.  So low in that there is not enough oxygen to sustain combustion. 

Whole tires are suspended on a vertical conveyer system and lowered through the column.  By the time a tire reaches the base of the column, the heat has converted the entire organic portion of the tire to a gas and fine carbon particles.  The gas has a sufficient energy value to serve as a fuel, and is piped to the boiler for combustion.  The metallic belts in the tire are not combusted or converted to gas, but rather accumulate at the bottom of the column and are later removed for recycling offsite.  


 Tire Fractionation Has Many Environmental Benefits

Management of tires as waste creates many environmental problems.  Tires stored or discarded on the surface of the ground are ugly, do not decompose, and present the hazards of uncontrolled fires and the breeding of mosquitoes. 

 When using tire fractionation for the recycling of scrap tires, environmental benefits exist which include:

  •  Reduced CO2 emissions

  • Conservation of fossil fuels

  • Reduced SOx and NOx emissions              

  • Reduced production of coal ash

  • Recovery of the steel in the tires

  • Environmentally acceptable method for the disposing of tires


Fractionated tire fuel has many advantages as a supplemental boiler fuel.  It is an excellent use of a waste product that otherwise presents many environmental problems, and can result in reduced emissions from utility boilers.  It is a source of energy that is cleaner than coal and does not involve combustion of fossil fuels, thereby contributing to energy diversity and reduced emission of greenhouse gases. 


  Symbiotic Energy of Litchfield, LLC

Symbiotic Energy

Litchfield, MI Facility