Continental and Pyrum sign development agreement, recovered carbon black supply deal
Continental AG has signed a development agreement with tyre pyrolysis firm Pyrum Innovations. Continental has held “a strategic minority stake” in Pyrum since its IPO in 2021. The new deal means, among other things, high-quality recovered carbon black (rCB) is to be obtained for Continental’s tyre production. Continental’s subsidiary, Reifen-Entsorgungsgesellschaft (REG), will begin supplying end-of-life tyres from the premium manufacturer to Pyrum this month. In the long term, the aim is to establish a circular economy concept for the recycling of end-of-life tyres.
“In Pyrum we have found a partner who has developed a particularly efficient pyrolysis process. Together we want to further develop the processes for the pyrolysis of end-of-life tyres. Our goal is to recover valuable materials and high-performance raw materials on an industrial scale in the future, among other things, for Continental’s tyre production”, explains Dr. Andreas Topp, Head of Materials and Process Development and Industrialisation at Continental Tyres. He adds: “Continental has ambitious sustainability goals. It is important for us to conserve resources. That’s why we are continuously expanding our solutions for the circular economy.”
“We have been in close exchange with Continental for some time and are looking forward to further expanding our collaboration with this agreement. Our business model is already fully sustainable. Together with Continental, we now want to go the next step towards a sustainable tyre industry”, says Pascal Klein, CEO of Pyrum Innovations.
Carbon black recovered from end-of-life tyres saves fossil raw materials and will contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions. The specific use of carbon black in rubber compounds increases the stability, strength and durability of tyres. In a standard passenger car tyre, the amount of carbon black, to which tyres owe their black colour, is 15-20 per cent, according to Continental. But in some cases it is less and in others – especially when less high performance characteristic-enhancing silica is used – it can be considerably more.
Sustainable materials and circular economy are an important part of Continental’s sustainability strategy, which specifically commits to using 100 per cent sustainably produced materials in Continental’s tyre products by 2050 at the latest.
“End-of-life tyres are a raw material for Continental just in the wrong place. We believe that circular economy is the model of the future. Modern, highly efficient pyrolysis processes are very important to us in this regard”, says Claus Petschick, Head of Sustainability at Continental Tyres, adding: “As part of our ambitious sustainability strategy, we will increase the use of sustainable materials in our tyre products to 100 percent by 2050 at the latest, for which recycled materials will make a significant contribution. As part of a closed-loop system, tyres will in future become the starting material for new tyres.”