【Circular Economy Taiwan Interview】Enrestec Recycles Waste Tires Via Pyrolysis

9 Oct

A veteran waste-tire recycler boasting leading pyrolysis technology, Enrestec Technology will exhibit carbon-black diving suits and environment-friendly nano-level tires at Circular Economy Taiwan 2018.

Given the potential grave environmental hazard of waste tires, resulting from their bulky size and frequent replacement, more developed economies, such as Europe, the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, have been actively pushing recycling of waste tires, such as pulverizing them for use as fuel, cutting them into films as renewable materials, or treating them via pyrolysis for the production of carbon black and fuel oil.

Presently, 60% of waste tires in Taiwan are pulverized before being used as supplementary fuel at factories, with the side effect of air pollution. Others are ground into rubber powder as materials for PU tracks, rubber trails in parks, or rubber asphalt roads. Such treatments are high energy-consuming and polluting operations, unlike the pyrolysis method which can convert waste tires into original materials, resulting in much higher added value.

Enrestec has been engaged in waste-tire recycling with pyrolysis technology for nearly 15 years, producing black carbon, fuel oil, and steel wire, which causes little pollution, thanks to its sealed operating environment with minor negative pressure, according to Lin Huan-Teng, the company’s vice general manager.

Carbon black has high re-use value

Carbon black is a kind of pure powder produced by separating waste air from extremely fine carbon-black powder resulting from the burning of hydrocarbon in insufficient air. It is often used as a reinforcing agent for rubber, especially tire, thanks to its ability to strengthen rubbers’ tensile strength, hardness, tear resistance, and wear resistance.

67% of carbon black is used in tire manufacturing worldwide, followed by manufacturing of rubber tubes and industrial convey belts with 24%, and others with 9%, including ink, dye material, paint, and foaming agent for shoe production (carbon is an ideal black pigment), according to a study from Freedonia Group, a U.S. market information body.

In addition to selling its environment-friendly carbon black to tire plants, Enrestec signed a sales contract with SHEICO Group, the world’s leading diving-suit manufacturer, last year, for employment of Enrestec’s high-quality carbon black in the manufacturing of diving suits. Its high quality carbon black has already received a toxin-free certification from the EU. By re-using this material, Enrestec has successfully maximized its recycling value in the market.

According to Lin, Enrestec in 2017 treated 14,000 tons of waste tires, yielding 5,000 tons of carbon black, 6,000 tons of fuel oil, and 1,700 tons of steel wire, with the conversion rate from recycling reaching 99%. The company is expected to handle 15,000 tons of waste tires in 2018, turning out 5,500 tons of carbon black and 6,600 tons of fuel oil, at a modest 10% growth.