Tire recycling plant of Destructive Distillation New South Wales, Australia. Image source: Green Distillation Technologies

Nevertire is an Australian town where one will never see scrap tires dumped at the landfill. Moreover, tires in the town are never incinerated and even never collected to be later on stockpiled at tire cemetery and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitos disseminating diseases.

The absence of tires in Nevertire can become possible thanks to Green Distillation Technologies, based in Warren. The company operates Destructive Distillation technology and recycles used tires into carbon black (rCB), tire-derived oil and steel wire. Each of these materials have numerous uses in various industries.

Despite being located in a remote corner of Australia, the company was noticed on international level in 2015 when it became Australia’s first-ever nominee in the Edison Awards, and it won a bronze medal.

Australia takes advantage of its mining operations and handles 3.5-metric-ton-large mining truck tires, as a significant number of raw material can be extracted from them. According to Green Distillation Technologies CEO Craig Dunn, if one handles a 3.5-metric-ton-large mining truck tire, it is estimated they could extract 1.5 tons of carbon, 1,500 liters of oil, and steel wire.

The extracted materials are of great value: carbon black can be used as a chemical building block for a wide range of products in many industries; the steel reenters the supply chain; and tire-derived oil is extracted in the form of a light low-sulphur crude, which is possible to refine into vehicular and stationary engine fuel.

According to representative of Southern Oil, Tim Rose, recycled tire oil can serve as a feedstock and this type of oil is now preferred over some bio-oils extracted from plants, as the oil is extracted through tire waste, which is meaningful contribution to environment.

According to the 2013-2014 Hyder Report, 155,000 tons of end-of-life OTR tires are generated annually in Australia, and 79.4 per cent of them are stockpiled, as it so far has apperared impossible to recycle these tires.

These tires will be recycled in future in a test plant, which is now being constructed by Green Distillation Technologies. It will have the capacity to recycle 19,000 tons of scrap tires annually; in addition, it will be capable of dealing with 658,000 car and truck tires. Therefore, the plant will handle around 3% of 24 million of used tires collected in the county each year.

According to Biofuel Digest, there is another tire pyrolysis company, which strives to bring in progress in scrap tire recycling. This is US-based micro-cap pyrolysis company Green EnviroTech, which uses a patented technology to produce recovered carbon black as a main product. According to the firm’s estimates, recovered carbon black has can target global CB market which will become as big as $20.4 billion by 2022.

The company now is busy with three projects in the US: two tire recycling plants in Texas and a carbon finishing plant in Ohio. According to CEO Chris Bowers’s prognosis, the carbon finishing plant will be launched in 2018. In addition, the company has been collaborating with an established tire recycler – they now seek to construct a third tire recycling facility in Maryland, which will handle 100 tons of scrap tires daily.

Considering today’s level of progress and innovation in the field of scrap tire recycling both in Australia and around the world, there is still a need that industry representatives make concerted efforts in advancing bioeconomy and make tire pyrolysis products commercially successful.

Article: Biofuel Digest