The construction of the world’s first recycling plant addressing spent extra-large tires, a global waste stream from transportation and fleets sectors, is set to begin in Perth, Western Australia and expected by February 2018, announced Green Distillation Technologies (GDT).
The venture is a collaboration between the Tytec Group and GDT, a global award winning tire recycling technology company. They have jointly established Perth based Tytec Recycling Pty Ltd to undertake economic green recycling of large tires, referred to as OTR or off the road tires which are classified as those with rim sizes ranging from 25 to 63 inches.
Australian Technology Recycles Old Tires Into Oil, Carbon and Steel
GDT has developed world-first Australian technology that will recycle end-of-life tires into oil, carbon and steel using their ‘destructive distillation’ process. Transport of tires from mine sites to the recycling plant will be undertaken by Tytec Logistics which has over 75 percent of the national OTR logistics market as well as providing storage for the extra-large tires.
Currently there is no means of recycling OTR tires and the usual method of disposal in Australia is to bury them in a dumping area on mine sites, or in an Environmental Protection Agency-nominated dumping area. The GPS coordinates of the dump together with the serial number of each tire disposed of in this way must be provided to the nation state’s agency.
The recycling benefits by this method are considerable as by using the GDT technology a tires that weighs 3.5 tonnes will yield 1,500 litres of oil, 1.5 tonnes of carbon, as well as the steel reinforcing which can go back to the tire manufacturer for reuse.
Editor’s Note: Queensland University of Technology announced it’s mechanical engineers tested the oil extracted from GDT’s process for the product oil’s emissions and output at its Biofuel Engine Research Facility. When the oil was blended with diesel it was found to produce a fuel with reduced emissions and no loss of engine performance, according to the university’s news update.
The Hyder Report for 2013-2014 estimated that there are 155,000 tonnes of OTR end-of-life tires of various sizes generated in Australia each year of which 79.4 per cent are left on site as currently there is no economic and green method of recycling them.
Spent Tires a Ubiquitous Waste Stream
The recycling of OTR tires in Australia is the ‘tip of iceberg’ according to GDT’s Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley, who attended MinExpo, the world’s biggest mining expo in Las Vegas last year.
“The Australian recycling potential for OTR tires is a fraction of the world market as during MinExpo we received enquiries from mining companies in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Canada, the United States and Chile and the market in these countries which all have large mining industries is immense as they also have no current economic green means of recycling their used OTR tires.”
“As an example of the scale, of mining companies in these countries and to demonstrate the potential market for the technology, one individual South American mine operator we met has more dump trucks than all those operating in Western Australia today,” he added.
“The move to build the world’s first processing plant for OTR tires comes after more than 12 months of logistical research and development work undertaken at the designated Tytec Recycling R&D plant which is a section of the GDT facility in Warren, New South Wales. This work has been to find a solution to the problem of how to handle a four-tonne tire with a diameter of 4 metres or more through a complex process at sufficient volume to make it economically viable,” Trevor Bayley said.
GDT has developed a proven world-first Australian technology that will recycle end-of-life car and truck tyres into oil, carbon and steel using their ‘destructive distillation’ process. They were Australia’s first ever nominee in the Edison Awards, the world’s top award for innovation in 2015 where they won a bronze medal.
Tytec Recycling Chairman Brett Fennell said that the OTR tyre recycling solution adds the final piece to the puzzle and will enable the mining and industrial sectors to be able to complete a cradle to grave solution for OTR tires by utilizing a green economic disposal method.
“For fifteen years we have been offering a complete OTR tires service to the mining industry including logistics, storage, re-treading and repairs and now we have the technology and method to offer an economically viable recycling solution as part of our total range of services.
The environmental benefit of recycling very large and hard to handle tires that have finished their useful life into high grade reusable commodities such as oil, carbon and steel, rather than just burying the problem for future generations to try and solve is enormous.”
“As well as the Australian market for recycling OTR tires, we believe that we can play a key role in helping to introduce this unique locally developed technology to the world,” Brett Fennell said.