Klean Industries: Clearing up the Tire Pyrolysis Carbon Black 'Financial Illusion'
|Recent changes in legislative policy throughout the European Union (including the UK Government’s legislation) now stipulates that waste recyclers are legally responsible for ensuring that the best method of processing waste must be adopted, in terms of the Waste Hierarchy. This in theory should mean that the most advanced technologies such as pyrolysis and gasification are some of the preferred options when disposing of difficult waste streams such as tires and plastics. Pyrolysis and Gasification are processes that completely reclaim the core materials used to manufacture these products. In the case of tire pyrolysis, the process breaks tires down into their constituent components, which consist of; carbonaceous char that can be refined into carbon black, a clean pyro-gas, green diesel oil, and reusable steel. The gas is used as fuel to provide heat for the process, while the oil and steel are then reused direct back into industrial manufacturing applications. The remaining component carbon black, once refined, is used in everyday products around the world as a coloring pigment, or in manufacturing fillers as a reinforcement agent in rubber and plastic products.
One of the primary uses for carbon black is in the production of new tires and rubber-related goods, so being able to recover and reuse it, saves an immense amount of energy because virgin carbon black is produced from cracking oil in order to manufacture it. The benefits of this process are huge and the opportunity for tire pyrolysis is massive as there are hundreds if not thousands of landfills containing tens of millions of tires around the planet which can be emptied and processed into green reusable commodities, reducing the environmental pollution. It’s a known fact that for every tonne of carbon black produced from the tire pyrolysis process a minimum of 2 tonnes of greenhouse gases are spared from entering the atmosphere which would otherwise be emitted during the conventional carbon black production process.
So with the above being said why are there not thousands of tire pyrolysis plants around the world breaking down tens of millions of scrap tires into reusable products, instead of landfilling them or burning them in cement kilns?
If we look at some generic internet sales websites, we find thousands of companies from India and China purporting to sell ‘reliable’ and ‘energy saving’ pyrolysis plants ranging in price from $30,000 to $250,000. The problem is that the lower-priced equipment is extremely basic in that it only produces low-grade oil and a highly contaminated carbon char product that is full of impurities and because of these impurities the char end-product is in effect worthless. Reclaimed carbon black using a pyrolysis process also contains other materials used in the tire manufacturing process including silica, zinc, and sulfur, that is, until it is refined. In simple terms, the carbon char product produced from the cheaper technologies is far from pure and needs to be refined using highly advanced processes and technological know-how. The advanced carbon black refining technologies needed to refine the char product into a high-grade, reusable carbon black product cost more than the above-mentioned pyrolysis plants.
Interestingly, companies selling the cheaper plants claim that the char-like product is “carbon black” when in fact it is “NOT”. Tire pyrolysis is a highly technical engineering process that when properly done, requires the carbon black to be purified and refined into a higher grade, and ultimately, a reusable commodity. When using the Klean pyrolysis process, the tires are fed into a kiln reactor system that removes the oxygen from the environment to prevent combustion. It then heats the tires to between 320 to 660 Degrees Celsius which results in the raw ingredients of the tires separating into their primary elements. The next stage is critical in the process, where the carbon black is refined into a purer form using advanced nano carbon upgrading technologies. This stage is not included in the process used or promoted by the Chinese and Indian pyrolysis plants which are in effect nothing more than large ovens, which produce burnt, unusable end products. The recovered carbon black accounts for 60% of the return on investment, so advanced nano carbon refining equipment is the key to a profitable business model.
The Klean Team has been involved in building and operating commercial tire pyrolysis plants since the 1980s and are experts in the field of carbon black upgrading and manufacturing. The key attributes of the processing concepts lie in the interaction between the single parts of the process. So it’s not a question of one patent or process but rather a combination of thousands of innovations, this know-how is the key to producing quality reusable end products, and indeed plants that are profitable.
The Klean Team are specialists in carbon processing techniques and have implemented a number of commercially successful plants and are rapidly developing new projects in North America and Europe. Klean’s business model is to build, own and operate plants, using completely integrated systems which include advanced nano-carbon-upgrading systems which they have modified and perfected since the 1990s. As a result of the general lack of knowledge about carbon black and pyrolysis, the Klean Team is now seeing more and more customers contacting them for advice and consultations on what to do with low-grade char-like end products. The irony of the situation is that people who initially decided to buy cheaper pyrolysis technologies and choose not to invest in Klean technologies are now re-approaching Klean Industries for advice and consultations on how to best upgrade their plants.
Jesse Klinkhamer, CEO of the Klean Industries Group said “contrary to some misconceptions, pyrolysis is not putting tires in an oven and cooking them, then hoping to be able to sell the leftover charred remains. It requires high-tech industrial-grade equipment to produce high-quality, saleable end products. The Klean pyrolysis systems are a win-win solution for governments, corporations, and the general public who wish to reduce landfill waste and eliminate environmental pollution, while dramatically reducing greenhouse gases and producing clean domestic energy and sustainable green commodities. All of our technologies exceed emissions protocols and requirements set globally. Governments and industry are embracing Klean’s proven technology portfolio which offers a highly profitable solution to recycle millions of scrap tires into reusable commodities and clean domestic energy. We are constantly exceeding our customers’ expectations and are dramatically lowering their environmental footprints.
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Klean Industries Inc.