SHOWCASING A SUSTAINABLE CARBON BLACK MANUFACTURING PROCESS FOR THE TIRE & RUBBER INDUSTRY

Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-being, Goal 4 - Quality Education, Goal 5 - Gender Equality, Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities, Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production Organizations Involved: Carbon Resources Recovery, Oregon DEQ, Rock Enterprises, Port of Morrow, multiple EPC firms Services: Design & Engineering, Turn-Key DBC, Due Diligence, Supply Chain Management, Carbon Management, Component Supply

The Challenge:

North America is one of the world's largest producers of end-of-life tires, currently generating over 500,000,000 tires every year. Similar numbers are stockpiled and monofills containing tens of millions of tires are not uncommon and these landfills are growing every day. Current markets for tire-derived products are all low-end applications with state funding usually required to provide a waste management solution for tire disposal.

The current challenge for many states is to reduce the burden on their taxpayer while recovering greater value from their wastes either in the form of energy or recovered resources. The state of Oregon has strict environmental regulations and is a hub for thermal processing technologies in the cleantech sector. Oregon also generates significant volumes of waste tires, and currently, the biggest outlet for scrap tires is tire-derived fuel ("TDF") which produces massive amounts of air pollution. 

The Solution:

Klean Industries is currently expanding an existing facility to bring a new industry to the State of Oregon, one that produces high-quality, green commodities, and energy from the waste generated from the automobile industry, specifically scrap tires from Northern California and Southern Washington. Klean's planned Resource Recovery Facility will not require any subsidies and will provide a fully sustainable solution to the region's +5m scrap tires. Klean's solution will solve part of the scrap tire issue by using the company's patented advanced thermal conversion technology to recover fuel oil, steel, and a refined carbon black. The high-quality end products will be comparable to virgin commodities with the exception of being far more cost-effective with a substantially low carbon footprint.

Klean's tire pyrolysis and gasification technology was developed in Japan in the early 1970s and were the world's first thermal process specifically designed to recover oil and energy from waste tires. Klean further refined this technology with the acquisitions of several other complementary technologies, such as the merger between Carbon Resource Recovery GmbH. Historically, Japan has always been short on energy and fuel resources and keen on finding viable substitutions. It should be noted that Japan was already producing bio-diesel oil 70 years ago with the Japanese engaging in World War 2 and yet bio-diesel production has only recently become a topic of alternative energy conversations.

With the application of advanced thermal technologies to convert industrial waste into valuable resources, the Boardman project offers significant long-term benefits to the State of Oregon.  

Klean has secured enough feedstock from its feedstock partner to run this new facility for 121 years at full capacity. Klean's feedstock partners own a significant monofill with approximately 5m tonnes of scrap tires located within a few hours from the Boardman facility. The business has been in operation for over 30 years and will be able to supply 160 metric tonnes of tires per day. The disposal of these unsuitable truck tire casings has an increasingly high cost both environmentally and financially. Through this partnership, Klean intends to change the complete tire recycling supply chain and plans on rapidly expanding its tire capture capacity to neighboring States.

Klean has secured a fully permitted 18-acre site and is able to process 160 tons a day of scrap tires at full capacity, that's approximately 16,000 waste tires a day. Klean has designed this facility to be a North America flagship facility, which is located in close proximity to Portland and is located near major highways for excellent product logistics for both its tire feedstock and end-product distribution. Klean has long-term plans to roll out a minimum of 15 facilities in the United States alone.

Benefits Realized:

The end result is the preservation of finite resources through the production of the following sustainable commodities (approximate volume):

  • Est 6 million tires a year recycled
  • 20,000 TPA of CBk carbon black
  • 25,000 TPA of marine-grade fuel oil
  • 10,000 TPA of steel
  • 100,000 TPA of carbon dioxide emission offset
  • Hundreds of jobs are created in a region that requires economic development
This project addresses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by considering the goals and associated targets illustrated by the WBCSD’s Tire Industry Project (TIP). TIP offers a framework for action that outlines impactful pathways for the tire sector to contribute to the ambitions of the SDGs. To learn more about how Klean's approach, solutions, and technologies contribute to advancing the SDGs please review the report called "Sustainability Driven: Accelerating Impact with the Tire Sector SDG Roadmap". See: https://www.wbcsd.org/Sector-Projects/Tire-Industry-Project/End-of-Life-Tires-ELTs