The vulcanization process during tire manufacturing makes it virtually impossible for a tire to be broken down naturally to its original raw materials and the current mechanical grinding processes, which are being employed, are not able to separate the rubber from the steel and the fabric. The result from that usually is lower grade “crumb”, which is not suitable for tire manufacturing, and the rubber can only be used in lower value applications.

However, a project named Water Accelerated Technology for En-Tire Recycling (“WATER”) is currently working on a novel recycling technology, which through the usage of Ultra High Pressure Water “UHPW” makes it possible to break down and separate tire materials into 3 distinct resources – high grade rubber crumb, steel and fabric. All three outputs can then be used to their maximum value and especially putting the rubber back into the supply chain could greatly reduce material costs of tires, since rubber represents over 30% of the total tire cost.