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Updated: Apr 20

In December 2021, Australia implemented an almost blanket ban on the export of used or end-of-life tyres. The first country to do so , but definitely not the last, it once again highlighted the challenges of how ELTs can be recycled or recovered, thereby limiting the negative effect on the environment.

The new legislation detailed that whole baled tyres were completely banned, whilst exporters would only be able to export passenger and SUV tyres that have been processed into tyre-derived fuel, or tyres to an appropriate importer for re-use as a second-hand tyre.

The Australia Tyre Stewardship, established to “reduce the volume of end-of-life tyres that one disposed of in ways that are damaging to the environment’ has been instrumental in finding new and different ways of utilising end-of-life tyres without creating any further waste or environmental issues.

Pyrolysis tipped to be big business in Australia

This is where pyrolysis comes into play, and where it is expected the biggest growth sector will be for recovering end-of-life tyres and producing further valuable commodities such as Tyre Pyrolysis Oil (TPO) and carbon char that can be further recovered into Recovered Carbon Black (rcB)

We know that there is considerable activity being generated to establish large scale and small deployable plants such as ours, and that a cohesive approach by two similar systems that ultimately will achieve the same outcomes would be a preferred strategy bringing diversity, investment, and employment opportunities, whilst tackling the challenges brought about by the export ban.

The generation of tyre derived products means that pyrolysis process is entirely circular in that no further waste products are generated.

With a reputed 27 million tyres not currently recycled in Australia, there is clearly much to be done. The vast nature of Australia’s landmass does pose further challenges, however our pyrolysis technology, which is capable of processing c.8000 tonnes of ELT crumb per annum, can be deployed in areas where tyres are currently stockpiled, reducing tyre recycling miles, it provides the perfect solution to tackle regional waste issue in more remote communities of the country.

This blueprint is easily transferrable to other countries who will introduce similar bans on the export of ELTs.

Supporting the circular economy

In an article in Circular Online, CEO at the sustainability brand, Contec, discussed the role that pyrolysis should play in the future of tyre recovery and recycling and stated, “The integration of ELTs into a fully functioning circular economy would require tyre waste to be fully reprocessed into new materials. A process known as pyrolysis is increasingly recognised as the desirable and environmentally sustainable approach to solving the ELT problem. Pyrolysis technology has come a long way, and it’s now a safe and controlled process.”

It is clear that pyrolysis is the only way of recovering tyres that is entirely circular and that has no further effect on the environment.

With strict CO2 emission goals set for 2050 in the UK, a circular economy established across the tyre industry is essential to help those goals to be met.

Chris Brown, Chief Renewables Officer, Carlton Forest Group commented; “We wholeheartedly support global recycling and recovery initiatives pertaining to ELTs and know that our technology can support this.

“We’re delighted with the level of interest the plant is generating in the sector and it’s great to see the rate of progress and the advancement of sustainable fuels and commodities.

“We are all too aware of the vital part this will play globally in ensuring a sustainable future. There’s a real excitement both in the UK and internationally, with potential partners from a wide range of sectors, about what’s possible with both the off takes from the plant and the deployment of plant to solve a significant global waste problem.”

“Carlton Forest Renewables is offering a solution, that can be deployed across the globe tackling the challenges surrounding end-of-life tyre recovery, disposal, and export. There is now a tangible alternative, that also supports the renewable and future fuel ambitions of other industries, as they strive to lower emissions to meet targets and reduce their environmental impact.”

Chris concluded; “At Carlton Forest Renewables we’re proud of our achievements to-date in the development of this technology and we have an unparalleled derived knowledge and technical capability making Carlton Forest a true world leader in this niche pyrolysis process. We’re delivering a truly circular process, that really does utilise end-of-life tyres in the best way possible.”

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