Pyrolysis of automotive shredder residue in a bench scale rotary kiln

Michele Notarnicola, Giacinto Cornacchia, Sabino De Gisi, Francesco Di Canio, Cesare Freda, Pietro Garzone, Maria Martino, Vito Valerio, Antonio Villone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Automotive shredder residue (ASR) can create difficulties when managing, with its production increasing. It is made of different type of plastics, foams, elastomers, wood, glasses and textiles. For this reason, it is complicated to dispose of in a cost effective way, while also respecting the stringent environmental restrictions. Among thermal treatments, pyrolysis seems to offer an environmentally attractive method for the treatment of ASR; it also allows for the recovery of valuable secondary materials/fuels such as pyrolysis oils, chars, and gas. While, there is a great deal of significant research on ASR pyrolysis, the literature on higher scale pyrolysis experiments is limited. To improve current literature, the aim of the study was to investigate the pyrolysis of ASR in a bench scale rotary kiln. The Italian ASR was separated by dry-sieving into two particle size fractions: d  30 mm. Both the streams were grounded, pelletized and then pyrolyzed in a continuous bench scale rotary kiln at 450, 550 and 650 °C. The mass flow rate of the ASR pellets was 200–350 g/h and each test ran for about 4–5 h. The produced char, pyrolysis oil and syngas were quantified to determine product distribution. They were thoroughly analyzed with regard to their chemical and physical properties. The results show how higher temperatures increase the pyrolysis gas yield (44 wt% at 650 °C) as well as its heating value. The low heating value (LHV) of syngas ranges between 18 and 26 MJ/Nm3 dry. The highest pyrolysis oil yield (33 wt.%) was observed at 550 °C and its LHV ranges between 12.5 and 14.5 MJ/kg. Furthermore, only two out of the six produced chars respect the LHV limit set by the Italian environmental regulations for landfilling. The obtained results in terms of product distribution and their chemical-physical analyses provide useful information for plant scale-up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92 - 103
Number of pages12
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Notarnicola, M., Cornacchia, G., De Gisi, S., Di Canio, F., Freda, C., Garzone, P., Martino, M., Valerio, V., & Villone, A. (2017). Pyrolysis of automotive shredder residue in a bench scale rotary kiln. Waste Management, 65, 92 - 103.