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Rubber Journal Asia Recycling potential of repurposing ELTs with its circular solution, Black Bear says it will be able to reduce the global oil consumption by more than 215 million barrels/year. Converting tyre scraps to energy Waste tyres are also a major source for energy and fuel, derived via waste-to-energy (WTE) conversion technologies. Tyre-derived fuel (TDF) is potentially cleaner and more efficient than conventional solid fuels. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tyres when burnt generate the same amount of energy as oil; 25%-50% more energy than coal, and 100%-200% more energy than wood. Moreover, the EPA and state-testing facilities have shown that TDF produces low emissions compared to other conventional fuels. Given these findings, TDF demonstrates as a more economical and viable alternative to fossil fuels. It is also is suited for energy intensive processes in utility boilers, cement kilns, and pulp and paper mills.

Sobe’s plants will process hydrocarbon-based waste such as used tyres to be converted into a clean synthetic gas that can be used in burners to produce steam or chilled water, or in reciprocating engines or gas turbines to produce electricity

The plants will process hydrocarbon-based waste such as used tyres, as well as all seven grades of plastic and electronic waste. These prolific waste streams are converted into a clean synthetic gas that can be used in burners to produce steam or chilled water, or in reciprocating engines or gas turbines to produce electricity. Based on Sobe’ s micro-energy facility concept, the technology reduces customer costs and helps address the major issue of hydrocarbon-based waste in the US. Sobe’ s phased intent is to invest US$120 million in Ohio. The company has purchased the assets of a district public utility and the new company will be rebranded Sobe Thermal Energy Systems.

Tyre-derived fuel is suited for energy intensive processes in utility boilers, cement kilns, and pulp and paper mills

Roads plying the recycled route The global market for recycled rubber is also expected to surpass US$6 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights, driven by demand from high revenue applications such as infrastructure. Many countries worldwide, amid a growing propensity for sustainability, are paving more roads with rubberised asphalt concrete (RAC) made with recycled tyres. For one, paving a mile/inch of road already utilises 1,000 waste tyres. Cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly, RAC can last 50% longer than conventional road application materials, and thus saves on maintenance costs. Additionally, RAC enables quiet roadways and safe driving by potentially reducing road noise by as much as 85% (or up to 4 decibels), while providing better traction and visibility in wet weather. New material technologies are being developed and launched to make ELT rubber recycling successful.

More importantly, TDF underscores that tyres from waste streams can be diverted to produce a high value product. According to the national trade organisation, US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), the US TDF market used 106 million tyres in 2017 or over 43% of total annual scrap tyre generated. Meanwhile, the country, which generates 300 million scrap tyres/year, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) data published in 2018, opens up opportunities for tyre-derived energy investments. Sobe Energy Solutions, owner and operator of sustainable power generation technology, has secured investment funding for its portfolio in sustainable energy projects in the US. The portfolio will encompass raising initial financing of US$990 million to cover the construction and implementation of several WTE technology plants.

4 AUGUST 2019

w w w. r u b b e r j o u r n a l a s i a . c o m

Profile for Plastics & Rubber Asia

PRA August 2019 issue  

PRA August 2019 issue