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Posted: April 25, 2007
Nanotechnology process for recycling tires selected by EU Recycle Tire Program
(Nanowerk News) A new nanotechnology application would allow the automotive industry to meet EU directives for recycling tires and would also reduce 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions per facility.
At the European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA) Conference 2007 in Brussels, Belgium it was estimated that the equivalent of 300,000,000 or more tires reach their end-of-life each year in the 27 member states of the European Union. It also estimated that similar amounts are found in North America, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East and that the global contamination total is probably over 1,000,000,000 passenger car tire equivalents per year.
For many of the past years these environmental hazardous accumulations were stockpiled or illegally dumped after receiving collection fees or government subsidies. As of 2006 the European Directives have banned scrap tires, shredded tires and tire residues from being landfilled or stockpiled.
However, ETRA reports that only 33% of these End-Of-Life tires are being recycled into recovered materials. Due to the abundant market pressures the only undesired alternative was to burn the tires.
Pyrolysis of scrap tires has not been commercially successful mainly because of the poor quality of the heterogeneous nature of the carbon rich pyrolysed by-product. In order to look for practical methods to post-treat the pyro-carbon into market products the European Union Cooperative Research (CRAFT) Recycle Tire contract GIST-CT-2002-50281 was initiated. After researching worldwide, the EU scientific team selected the products produced by CBp Carbon Industries Inc. as the “best-available- technology” to successfully complete their EU Recycle Tire project objectives.
The test results showed that the crude pyro-carbon was refined and upgraded to functional grades of 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. The new technology for recycling tires is the first fully integrated approach of thermal and mineral technologies that is both environmentally and economically viable.
The technology allows for the economic upgrading of the raw carbonaceous char, one of the by-products of the heating process, into a commercial substitute for carbon black, a main commodity for the rubber and plastics industries and demonstrates clean operations that cause no detrimental environmental impact.
The complete ETRA 2007 presentation, “New Reinforcing Black and Mineral Fillers Derived from Scrap Tires” can be seen on the CBp Carbon Industries Inc. web site home page: www.cbpcarbon.com