澳洲一家回收公司運用獲愛迪生獎肯定的創新技術，宣佈於今年開始全世界第一個工程用輪胎（off the road，OTR）回收業務，用廢棄的工業用輪胎生產鋼、柴油和碳，品質高，可再進入市場銷售，真正做到資源再利用。
廢棄輪胎。圖片來源：Bryce_Hockema（CC BY-NC-ND 2.0）。
這家Tytec Recycling公司的董事長芬奈爾（Brett Fennell）表示，輪胎回收不易，特別是採礦或農用的OTR輪胎回收，在過去幾乎不可能。
但現在，Tytec Recycling運用澳洲綠色乾餾科技公司（Green Distillation Technologies Corporation，GDTC）的獨家破壞性乾餾技術，可把廢棄的OTR輪胎變成可銷售的鋼、柴油和碳。這項技術可把廢輪胎中高達85%的未使用能量轉換成碳和油的形式，不須預先處理，而且沒有碳排放。唯一產生的廢物流是熱能。
採礦機具的輪胎 ，比一個成年人還要高。圖片來源：MINING.com（CC BY 2.0）。
Tytec Recycling, a new company based in Perth, announced Wednesday that it would open the world’s first environmentally-friendly off the road tire recycling operation this year.
The facility will employ a new Edison Award-winning technology to make high-quality marketable steel, diesel oil and carbon out of the old earthmoving tires used in mining and agriculture.
“We’re currently on track to begin OTR recycling in June 2016 and will open our purpose-built recycling center in Perth in January 2017, then Queensland soon after,” says Brett Fennell, Tytec Recycling’s chairman.
Currently, used off the road, OTR, tires are buried under mining dumps or stacked in EPA-approved areas around mine sites.
Tire recycling has always been difficult, and for mining and agriculture’s cast off tires it has been “nearly impossible,” Fennell said.
Now, using Edison Award-winning technology from the Green Distillation Technologies Corporation, GDTC, Tytec Recycling will convert these outworn tires into steel, diesel oil and carbon.
Based in Melbourne, Green Distillation Technologies Corporation has developed a proprietary destructive distillation technology capable of recycling end-of-life tires of all varieties into saleable commodities of carbon, oil and steel.
GDTC recovers up to 85 percent of the unused energy in an end-of-life tire in the form of carbon and oil without pre-processing and is completely emission free. The only waste stream is heat.
All products from the tire recycling process can be used. The oil can be used as a heat source, blended with fossil fuels, used to make carbon black, instead of fossil fuels or further refined into other usable hydrocarbon products. The carbon can be used as a heat source or an agricultural additive, the steel goes into the scrap steel market.
For this technology, GDTC received a 2015 Edison Award in the Resource Management or Renewable Resources category.
The Tytec team has been unfailingly persistent. “We’ve been working on a way to efficiently recycle OTR tires for the past nine years,” says Brett Fennell, Tytec Recycling’s chairman.
“There are plenty of ways to break down tires but none of them are effective for OTR tires,” he explains.
Most tire recycling requires up to six steps – removing the steel beading from tires, cutting the tires into small pieces, then shredding or grinding the tire cuttings.
The final step is to perform magnetic sorting to remove any remaining steel for sales of crumb rubber, often used on athletic surfaces, playgrounds and equestrian footings.
To extract oil and carbon from the old tires, an additional process using pyrolysis reactors is required.
The current recycling process is time-consuming, energy intensive and expensive. The larger the tire, the more costly, maintenance intensive and difficult each step becomes.
“The Destructive Distillation process that Tytec uses allows a whole OTR tire to be recycled in a single step,” says Fennell.
“We’re using continuous heating technology that’s incredibly energy efficient and results in extremely low emissions. Our reactors operate at a much lower temperature and pressure, providing the added advantage of being safer for system operators and reducing the wear and tear on the plant,” he explains.
Tytec Recycling holds the only global technology license for the Destructive Distillation process for OTR and agricultural tires.