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Pyrolysis of scrap tires and rubber waste


by Helmut Haneklaus (innovator / developer)     hh<at>




Tremendous quantities of wast tires are burned up in cement factories and heating plants as energy substitutes. The accompanying environmental damage is well-known. An alternative method of recycling is the diminution in fine granules and rubber flour.  This method does not look bad at first glance, but if you take a closer look you will notice the low added value. It is not a matter of recycling, but of down-cycling, ie the conversion of actually valuable material for inferior use, ie an uneconomical procedure and a waste of resources.

An alternative method of true recycling is pyrolysis, also referred to as thermal conversion or thermolysis or de-polymerization. This method was already used in the Neolithic period for the smoldering of wood tar and pitch. For scrap tires, carbonization takes place at 400-900 ° C in an atmosphere under vacuum. At the end of the process remain about 35% carbon black, 45% pyrolysis oil, 10% steel (wires, etc.) and 10 percent are pyrolysis gas left, the z. Heat generation is used for the pyrolysis process and for drying the perl soot in the process. The carbon black can be used in the rubber and tire industry to make new tires. So far, there are no pyrolysis plants that can recover and deliver high quality soot that is accepted by tire manufacturers. In a pilot plant of Actana UG in Bramsche near Osnabrück, however, a carbon black with the required quality was produced with this technology. In addition, Russ is used in the paint and plastics industry. Patents are registered. The technology was predominantly developed in Saudi Arabia. There, 15 years ago, a prototype plant was first built and, according to the same function, a pilot plant was built in Germany, which went into operation in Saudi Arabia. With this the necessary development processes took place, with regard to the refinement of the carbon black fraction. Only then did marketable end products emerge: "Perl soot" for rubber production and "pigment soot" for the paint and plastics industry.


The pilot project

The Actana plant in pilot operation was used for market preparation and the development of necessary refining plants of the GREEN Carbon Char. GREEN Carbon Black (GCB) in good quality is known to be an important raw material for tire manufacturing and many other applications. Furthermore, steel, oil and gas are reclaimed. With the high calorific fuel gas, the necessary thermal energy is generated and provided for the pyrolysis process. The balance of CO2 savings results in considerable quantities if the four raw materials mentioned above were REproduced.



Currently, the tire trade claims a fee for the return of scrap tires, which can also be included in the price of new tires. The tax is also chargeable at municipal recycling yards. These collection points can then deliver the used tires regionally free of charge in the scrap tire pyrolysis system (APS). For delivery to cement factories and thermal power plants, shredder and transport costs are incurred. In addition, the environmental requirements are becoming increasingly difficult.

For a plant with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per year, according to the findings of the developers and operators of the operation of the pilot plant, an investment of EUR 3.3 million would be required. With 100% capacity utilization, it would generate sales of EUR 3,125,000 a year. The personnel costs were estimated at EUR 600,000 per year (with 25% of social costs = EUR 750,000). Further operating costs (reserve) of about 200,000 EUR would be expected in addition. This results in the following approximate profit expectation:

sales at 80% utilization                                   2,500,000
personnel costs + additional costs                - 750,000
depreciation (€ 3.3 million: 10 years)            - 330,000
physical operating costs                                  - 200,000
administrative costs (5% of sales)                  - 125,000
gross Profit                                                        1,095,000
initial imputed interest (4% x € 3.3 million)  - 132,000
Return on sales:                                                      38.52%

The Actana UG is looking for investors – crowdfunding prefered, to realize this environmentally friendly process in industrial size for the first time.