EU Tyre Recycling Tests Outline “Best Available Technology”
Estimates put forward during the European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA) Conference 2007 in Brussels suggest that at least 300 million tyres reach their end-of-life each year throughout the EU’s 27 member states, with similar amounts found in North America, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Taking all of these regions collectively it is likely that the equivalent of more than one billion passenger car tyres require scrapping each year, and in the past many of these were destined for landfill or otherwise illegally dumped.
With EU directives banning the stockpiling of tyres or their disposal in landfill alternative methods of processing end-of-life tyres have been sought, however ETRA have reported that only a third of these tyres are being recycled into recovered materials, the bulk of them instead burnt as a fuel source. The results of conducting pyrolysis on scrap tyres have not in the past achieved promising results, with the resultant carbon being high in ash content and therefore only suitable for low-grade uses.
To tackle this issue and find practical ways of refining the by-products of pyrolysis into marketable products the European Union Cooperative Research (CRAFT) Recycle Tire contract GIST-CT-2002-50281 was put into place. Research was conducted worldwide, and after evaluating the merits of each process the EU scientific team chose the products produced by CBp Carbon Industries Inc. as the ‘best-available-technology’ to successfully complete their EU Recycle Tire project objectives.
These test results were obtained from CBp Carbon’s facility in Hungary, a plant using nanotechnology to upgrade raw carbonaceous char, a by-product of pyrolysis, into reinforcing black fillers, CBpEX, CBpES and CbpEU, which can be substituted and blended with N-500, N-600, N-700 and N-900 series of standard commercial carbon black grades in an environmentally sound manner – a commercially valuable product considering reports indicate that the global carbon black market will reach 9.6 million metric tonnes by 2008.
It has been estimated that the CBp Carbon Industries process would reduce the carbon dioxide emissions by 40,000 tonnes per facility each year compared with conventional methods of burning oil or gas to produce the equivalent quantity of commercial grade carbon black. CBp Carbon Industries plans to open additional carbon processing facilities in Europe, North America and Australia.