Asphalt pyro-rejuvenators based on waste tyres: An approach to improve the rheological and self-healing properties of aged binders

Manuel Chávez-Delgado, José R. Colina, Cristina Segura, Claudio Álvarez, Paula Osorio-Vargas, Luis E. Arteaga-Pérez, Jose Norambuena-Contreras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Waste Tyres (WT) are a significant fraction of industrial waste and a source of environmental hazards with limited valorisation. To reduce this problem, currently there is a growing interest in valuing the WT through pyrolysis to obtain multifunctional liquids to improve the rheological and self-healing properties of aged binders. This research provides a comprehensive study on using WT mixtures as precursors for asphalt rejuvenators by means of pyrolysis and distillation processes. To this end, WT polymeric fractions from light (WT-L) and mining trucks (WT-M) were used as feedstock and characterised for compositional and thermal properties. Additionally, micropyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) was used to identify the major products in pyrolysis vapours, to elucidate the reaction maps describing thermal degradation of WTs and to predict the feasible reaction conditions. The pyrolysis liquids were produced after a screening of reaction conditions and subjected to distillation, following a response surface model to produce an optimised pyro-rejuvenator. The results showed that the pyrolytic rejuvenator obtained through pyrolysis at 465 °C and distillation cutting at 160–200 °C is mainly composed of hydrocarbons and aromatic substances (95.5%), with a significant proportion of limonene (33.71%). Furthermore, the pyrolytic rejuvenator exhibited highly desirable physical properties in the context of its application and excellent oxidative stability (85.7%). Otherwise, it was determined that bitumen mixtures with 3%–6% doses of pyro-rejuvenator improved the viscosity, softening point, and penetration of aged binders, restoring their physical properties to the virgin state. In conclusion, pyro-rejuvenators can be successfully used as a promising solution to produce more durable and sustainable pavements with improved rheological and healing properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142179
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


  • Asphalt rejuvenator
  • Bitumen
  • Distillation
  • Pyrolysis
  • Waste tyres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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