Reklaim Inc., Boardman, Ore., recycles scrap tires into recovered carbon black (RCB) and tire-derived oils. The central element of Reklaim’s operation is a pyrolysis, a thermal process by which hydrocarbon materials are thermally decomposed into constituent materials in an oxygen-free environment. Reklaim has a patent for pyrolysis of crumbed rubber with a vertical rotating tray dryer. The recovered carbon black then is pelletized and sold to manufacturers of rubber and plastic products. The tire-derived oils are sold to large industrial fuel blend organizations for such uses as fuel oil for industrial boilers.

During pyrolysis of shredded tires, the chemical bonds within the rubber compounds are broken, with the rubber temporarily converted to a high temperature hydrocarbon gas, thereby liberating the recycled carbon black from the tire. The gasified rubber stream is then cooled and condensed into oil and gas streams.

Reklaim uses a Turbo-Dryer from Wyssmont Co., Fort Lee, N.J., for the pyrolysis process. The large industrial dryer effects the thermal decomposition operation involving hydrocarbon gas in the absence of oxygen at temperatures approaching 1,000°F (538°C).

Anything that protrudes through the wall of the processor — including the heating elements, which are placed through a tube at the top of the vessel — must be completely sealed. Reklaim uses Pelseal 2077, a one-part, black sealant/caulk, to form a tight seal around where the heating elements protrude into the Turbo-Dryer. The sealant from Pelseal Technologies LLC, Bensalem, Pa., ensures an oxygen-free environment.

“We can’t have oxygen,” said Joe Koerner, the operations manager at Reklaim. “Oxygen intrusion into the vessel would create an oxidative environment and would prevent pyrolysis, which would compromise our products and potentially create an unsafe environment.”