Skip to main content

TyRec process: Whole Tyre Recycling within 30 Minutes with Molten Zinc – towards a circular economy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TyRec process (TyRec process: Whole Tyre Recycling within 30 Minutes with Molten Zinc – towards a circular economy)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2015-11-30

A technical and economic feasibility study of a novel, patented tyre recycling plant using molten zinc named TyRec was executed. It was found that the minimum throughput of a commercial scale TyRec plant located in Europe is 40,000 t/y. Such a plant achieves an internal rate of return (IRR) of 29%. The uptime of the plant is assumed to be 85% or 7,500 hours per year, the discount rate is 10%, cost of capital 6% and the inflation rate 3%. The total capital investment is estimated to be €28.3m or €38.6m if the cost of capital is included. The IRR can be increased further by increasing the throughput of the plant beyond 40,000 t/y. The sale prices for the recycled carbon black (rCB) is €20/t to be sold as fuel to coal fired power stations, €255/t for the pyrolysis oil (P-oil) which is similar to Fuel Oil No. 6 and €80/t for the steel. The tipping fee is €90/t.
As a 40,000 t/y plant is economic, a full scale plant may be build. Subsequently measures to upgrade the P-oil and rCB may be put in place to further increase the profitability of the plant. Hence upgrades can be assessed on materials actually produced by the real plant, rather than materials obtained from relatively controlled, small scale laboratory or pilot plants reducing the risk of any upgrade proposals for an operator.
The process uses molten zinc to recycle whole tyres within 30 minutes (no shredding or any other pre-treatment). The steel sinks in the zinc whereas the rCB floats on it. The rCB is removed with the pyrolysis gases from the chamber. The pilot plant testing and analysis of the products (P-oil, rCB and steel) showed that the product qualities are within expectations.
The main risk is the continuous operation of the plant – an operation, which can only be shown on a demonstration scale unit; minimised by pilot plant testing. The main objective of the study, establishing the technical, environmental and the economic feasibility of the TyRec process is achieved.
"Please refer to the ""Technical Report 1B"" for a description of the work performed during the reporting period and the main results achieved."
"Please refer to the ""Technical Report 1B"" for a description of the expected final results and their potential impact. In summary the results of the Phase 1 work are extremely encouraging and we have decided to proceed with the project.

Social impact: The impacts of the commercial implementation of TyRec in the EU on employment, solid waste reduction and potentially CO2 reduction are major societal benefits. Local communities will appreciate new employment opportunities, both at labourer level and for engineers and plant operators (33 operating personnel per plant).

The main economic benefit of the TyRec technology is that it is an economic tyre pyrolysis process with an IRR estimated to be 29% for a 40,000t/y plant with larger throughputs resulting in even higher IRRs. As a result the unique selling points of the TyRec technology are:
• Economic, IRR ~29% greatly exceeding the user requirement of 15% IRR for new technologies. Other unique selling points backing up the IRR of 29% are:
o Ability to treat whole tyres eliminating the costly operations: shredding, granulating, steel removal.
o Highly efficient treatment due to direct heat transfer with molten zinc (20 min rather than 2-4 hours).
o Availability of accessible markets for all the products from a TyRec process.