Our technology is changing the chemical composition and the physical phase of the tyre material during the process.
Our technology is changing the chemical composition and the physical phase of the tyre material during the process. We have developed a batch technology ensuring maximum control of the environment and process within the reactors. The patented CFC technology (Carbonization by Forced Convection) enables full control over the temperature and other key parameters in the pyrolytic process. Heated pyrolytic gas is circulated inside the reactor until the organic material has been heated evenly to the correct temperature. The CFC process enables the production of end products of very high quality. The carbon fraction can be sold as carbon black instead of being discarded. Produced oil is sold as fuel oil, further refined or used to generate electrical power. Recovered steel is a valuable commodity sold to the scrap steel market or directly to steel companies. The gas generated by the process is circulated in the system to optimize the use of heat and energy to run the main process efficiently, the excess gas is used as energy for the dryer of the pellets.
There are many efforts made over the years to recover the valuable resources within the tyres. Most of them have been unable to control the temperature distribution in the process to generate an optimal conversion from solid to gasified and later condensed fractions. Our technology monitor, control and manage the process to ensure a high-quality carbon that can be efficiently milled into carbon black for industrial use. In addition, we are able to process shredded tyre material without expensive pre-process extraction of steel wire and granulation. Since the process is focusing on efficient extraction of the carbon black we ensure minimum contamination with carbon particles in the oil fractions.
Traditional methods involve heating from the outside of a rotating barrel or in some case inside. Depending on heating source it is difficult to control the heat at every point and step of the process resulting in fluctuations in quality, hardness and purity of both steel, carbon and oil. The most commonly used method is a rotating vessel and a continuous process. Normally this is an energy consuming process, require more N2, maintenance and of course safety measures. Most difficult is the control of the temperature and process flow since you have material moving in the process all the time at different stages. Condensation of oil on the surfaces of the vessel due to uneven heating causes formation of carbon fractions that are not Carbon black. This formation of carbon is contaminating both the solid and liquid fractions. The rotation of the material can even impact the quality of the carbon due to mechanical wear of the material within the process. The rotation and other movements in continuous processes cause carbon dust fractions to follow the gas and oil flow, contaminating the downstream output.
To maintain our position at the very edge of technical development within this business globally we are strengthening our immaterial property rights through technology patents, trademark registrations and other measures. Today we have several patents covering the markets of interest. Our main product from the current production in Sweden is trademarked under the name EnviroCB.
The alternative methods
It is now undoubtable that pyrolysis is the selected technology by the tyre industry to solve the problem with End of Life Tires in a sustainable way. Even if the technology will grow rapidly due to the obvious circular benefits there are alternatives routes and will be until a full scale capacity market has been developed within pyrolysis. Depending on market situation the developing world might skip some of the normal phases and target implementation of pyrolysis directly.
With exception from land fill different kinds of incineration is the most commonly used method to dispose waste tyres. The main purpose of those technologies is to generate heat by burning the tyres. In more sophisticated incineration plants the steel can be recycled but in general they burn the material. Examples of industries could be cement kilns and other waste to energy plants using the tyres to increase the heat in their normal production.
Since the introduction of regulation against land fill in Europe and some other areas the business of granulation took off. The method requires equipment for cutting and shredding the tyres as well as for extracting all steel and textile before final granulation into several grades of rubber granulates. The market for such granulates grew in the first years of the new regulation and several new applications and products were developed. Granulates for soccer artificial turf soccer fields is one of them. Science is discussing the impact of those granulates in comparison to the land fill and the fact that our children play on the fields, bring the granulates home and into the washing machines. Another aspect is the spreading to ground water and sewer systems during rain and snow and the effect extreme summer heat has on the chemicals inside the granulates. The market expansion of granulates has slowed down the last years and competition for the remaining market is fierce.
Another method to recover rubber is to devulcanize the material, meaning extraction of the sulfur inside through heat and chemical processing. There are a few relatively successful technologies available and it could be a very attractive alternative if you are able to control the input material 100% and want to re-introduce the devulcanized material into a very well defined application. In those cases, it would probably be the most efficient way of rubber material recycling.
In tyre recycling you are very seldom able to know the content of each tyre rubber mix and then the devulcanized material will vary, creating difficulties to keep consistent quality and material control. Before the devulcanization process all steel and textile fibres needs to be removed. So far we have not seen an industrialized plant able to efficiently recover significant volumes of rubber from waste tyres being reintroduced to the market of high quality rubber products.