Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DEVULC Report Summary

Project ID: 666435

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DEVULC (Novel Devulcanization Machine for Industrial and Tyre Rubber Recycling)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The objective of the DEVULC project is to develop a new devulcanization technology that leads to an efficient and environmental sustainable recycling of rubber goods. Rubber material are very complex compounds which consists of entanglements of long polymeric organic macro molecules linked together by sulfur bridges. The chemical reaction between sulfur (or another “vulcanization agent”) and the rubber molecules network is called “vulcanization” and is known to be irreversible, which lead to rubber recycling issues.
DEVULC devulcanization consists in reactive extrusion assisted by super critical carbon dioxide. This technology selectively breaks sulfur bonds while retaining the majority of carbon-carbon bonds, which enables the reuse of devulcanized compounds as raw second-hand materials.
The DEVULC project aims at engineering, manufacturing and optimizing a prototype devulcanization unit and then scale it up to an industrial unit. Particular attention will be paid on deeply characterize devulcanized products and on the opportunity to mix recycled rubber with thermoplastics (TPV) for the invention of new materials.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first months of the project were allocated to the careful choice of the different component of the first devulcanization unit. 27mm twin-screw extruder has been chosen to be the core of the prototype. The different part of the prototype has been assembled and installed inside Phenix facilities and this first unit has been led to proper functioning over these months of work. This devulcanization unit is now able to run different kind of rubber; going from natural rubber (polyisoprene) to EPDM or GTR (Groung Tyre Rubber). Phisico-chemical behavior of the recycled rubber is deeply investigated to guarantee good performance and reproducible.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Our recycled product are suitable to use as good quality raw material, in brand-new rubber formulation or reincorporated into virgin rubber or thermoplastic compounds. Numerous rubber compounding companies are interested in using our recycled rubber or buy the devulcanization system, which would lead to more sustainable management of rubber waste (especially by addressing end-of-life tire issues).

Related information

Record Number: 190095 / Last updated on: 2016-11-07
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