Oil made from tyres could one day power diesel cars, while also eliminating the harmful waste from the environment.
Queensland University of Technology and Deakin University researchers have successfully tested a combination of tyre oil and diesel on the road for the first time in Brisbane.
The combination fuel did not change the test van's power and displayed similar levels of emissions as laboratory tests.
The oil is extracted from discarded tyres by a process developed by NSW-based company Green Distillation Technologies (GDT).
QUT Biofuel Engine Research Facility Director, Professor Richard Brown, and Deakin University's Dr Tim Bodisco carried out the tests.
Professor Brown told AAP left-over tyres did not break down, creating an environmental waste problem.
"Tyre stockpiles are not the sort of thing that you want to live next door to," he said.
"If set on fire they are impossible to extinguish."
Professor Brown said mining companies were interested in the new technology as a way to reduce the stockpile of large tyres from its vehicles.
Professor Brown said he was shocked to learn a small company was transporting 50 tonnes' of tyres from Brisbane each week.
"I couldn't believe it - every single week," he said.
The next step in the research will be to look at ways to improve the tyre oil by refining or upgrading it.
Australian Associated Press