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A new pyrolysis process for ELT delivers high grade secondary raw materials at a lower environmental cost

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Italy
City: 
Florence

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
Yes
Submitted by: 
Tyrebirth S.r.l.
Start/End date: 
03/2019
Ongoing: 
Yes
Expected end date: 
03/2019
Description: 

Tyrebirth has developed a new technological approach for the management of ELT (end-of-life tyres) through the production of microwave pyrolysis plants. The process uses microwaves and infrared radiation to activate the pyrolysis on the tyres, generating secondary raw materials with an extremely low environmental impact. 

Tyrebirth plants produces secondary raw materials such as:

  • black carbon (40%)
  • steel (5%)
  • combustible oil (40%)

and a portion of hydrocarbon gases (15%). 

The recycled black carbon (Rcb) is used as a reinforcement for new tires or as a pigment for plastic materials.
Steel is reused in various applications, while the pyrolysis gases produced are used in co-generation to sustain about 70% of the plant's energy needs.

Main activity field:

Main results: 

1.1 million tyres are thrown away every year in landfills or sent to waste-to-value incineration. Only a residual part is directed towards material recovery chains with the use of poorly effective technologies. The new pyrolysis process is the result of a decade of research in collaboration with the chemistry department of the University of Florence, and has already obtained several international research patents.

The Tyrebirth process has a very low environmental impact. As an example, 0.16t of Co2 are emitted to produce 1 ton of Rcb, while it takes roughly 4.4t of Co2 for the production of a ton of virgin carbon black.