So, why does the subject of pyrolysis for end of life tyres remain clouded?

The recent change in UK Government legislation obligating the disposer to be legally responsible for ensuring that the best method of processing is adopted in accordance with the Waste Hierarchy should make tyre pyrolysis one of the preferred options as it completely reclaims the core materials used to manufacture tyres.

January 2012 Page 66

A major global trading web site is currently promoting circa 3,000 manufacturers all providing tyre pyrolysis equipment for the reclamation of carbon black (CB), oil, gas and steel. The cost for this equipment varies from £25k up to £700k and beyond. So with thousands of companies providing tyre pyrolysis products why is the UK and Continental Europe not awash with tyre pyrolysis plants? Surely tyre pyrolysis is the new Nirvana?

Of course tyre pyrolysis works. That is not the question. Any lingering doubts surrounding the processes viability must be linked to the value of, and ability to sell the so called ‘CB’ reclaimed from the pyrolysis system. Interestingly, the firms selling these bargain-basement pyrolysis plants are calling the material, carbon black. Reclaimed ‘CB’ from any pyrolysis process contains other materials, zinc, sulphur, silica etc. It is not ‘virgin’ CB and should not be sold or described as such.

Reclaiming then refining the materials to an acceptable quality standard comes at a price considerably higher than that of supplying half a process. Indeed, to steal a famous strapline from Marks and Spencer, we can tell you, this is not just about tyre pyrolysis; this is about PYReco Zerowaste Process (PZP).

Scalability is critically important as the capital cost of a plant which includes the refining and finishing equipment is high, circa £90m. The PCB provides at least 70% of the annual revenue. You will require 200 metric tonnes of end of life tyre shred every 24 hour period to achieve the business plan. Anything less will not be cost effective.

Initially, successful pyrolysis is achieved through a critically controlled procedure, however the high revenue value is dependent as much on the CB finishing equipment as it is on the initial heat process. There are thousands of lower cost pyrolysis techniques available around the world but unfortunately most of them produce a carbon char product with a significantly lower market value than that delivered by PYReco.

PYReco receives at its offices in Wilton about twenty requests a week from businesses all over the world, primarily India, who have purchased these systems. The cheaper processes are ‘batched’ or static pots, while the more ‘upmarket’ methods are ‘continuous’ 24/7 operations.

The following question is an actual enquiry. “I would like to know if you can get me buyers of my CB or help me in selling it, I produce CB and need an agent for it”.

World carbon black demand is forecast to increase 4.3% per year through 2013 to 11.6 million metric tons, and because you burn oil to make CB, logically its price follows the cost of oil. Manufacturers are especially interested in ‘green’ PZP Eco Black. Why then, are these processors having a problem selling their CB?

PZP Carbon Black, by comparison is a scientifically blended, balanced ‘mix’ that sells at a price similar to high grade virgin CB. Last April 1, 2011, the Industrial CB Business Unit of Columbian Chemicals Company increased prices for all CBs by up to 14% depending on the grade. This equates to $1.20 per lb. or £1,600 per tonne.

The registration mark following the product name indicates that the product is not ‘virgin’ as in the case of the ‘CB’. PZP Carbon Black is CB+. The ‘+’ is of course all of the materials or ingredients placed in the ‘mix’ by the tyre manufacturer originally to make the tyre.

PZP Carbon Black  has been tested by independent testing laboratories and CB manufacturers as well as tyre manufacturers and validated to be suitable for use in the production of tyres. It has recently also been found to be suitable for the plastics industry. Manufacturers appreciate that PZP Carbon Black is ‘green’ and therefore very desirable as a marketing aid. PZP Carbon Black also provides the benefits to the user of considerable CO2 savings. Organisations seriously interested in PYReco’s process are invited to meet our scientists and independent laboratories for full verification of our claims.

The other materials released by the PZP process are, PZP Oil, PZP Gas and PZP Steel. There is no ash or waste residue to be landfilled.

PZP Oil contains a multifaceted mixture of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons.  The more volatile components (toluene and xylenes) can be extracted and used as solvents.  Crude hydrocarbon feed-stocks are used as solvents for some polymer systems (such as resins).  Styrene, which is a significant component in the pyrolysate, can be used as a monomer to make poly (styrene).

PZP Steel  is perfectly presented with zero rubber or fibre contaminates achieving maximum value for the steel and tyre industry as processed tyre wire (Ferrous) – Grade 1.