DEMONSTRATION & PROOF OF CONCEPT FOR TYRE PYROLYSIS IN GERMANY

Sustainable Development Goals

Organizations Involved:
TPL, Steinbeis Foundation, Baufeld Refinery, Martin Luther University, European Union, German Government, Niersberger, MeWa Shredders 
Services:
Design & Engineering, Turn-Key DBC, Due Diligence, Supply Chain Management, Carbon Management, Component Supply, Operator Training

The Challenge:

It's quite possibly one of the great global challenges we have today, with nearly 2 billion used tyres and more than 100 million metric tonnes of waste plastics being disposed of carelessly every single year. These specific waste streams are highly calorific and by not recovering them, we are simply squandering untold amounts of energy, not just in making them but also in what's left inside them. Tyres and plastics are full of energy and chemicals. However, left unrecovered, scrap tyres and waste plastics are a burden to the environment and are also highly carcinogenic and a serious threat to the health of all living things on planet earth. Their toxicity is extreme as they are made of expensive petrochemical products. 

What if there was a resource recovery process that could effectively and economically turn plastic waste and scrap tyres back into valuable materials such as recovered fuel oil and a recovered carbon black, that could be dropped right back into its original supply chain such as the tire manufacturing industry; with zero secondary pollutant emissions. This is one of the key engineering challenges the KleanTeam is fully committed to solving on a global level. It is this project and many others that we have developed by improving upon existing systems and processes to develop our own patented technologies to recover valuable products that meet the highest requirements for safety, economic efficiency, and commercial marketing opportunities.

The Solution:

In 2009, a project company TLP GmbH ("TPL") was established focusing on the development and construction of technologies for the conversion of various wastes into recyclable materials. Our studies were aimed at developing an effective and environmentally friendly technology that combines recycling with low consumption of energy or even generation of energy. This was to become the key technology we would implement for our own projects. 

The KleanTeam were able to gain a lot of experience during the feasibility analysis and we built up a large network during the comparisons with other technologies and participation in various pilot plants. All advantages and disadvantages up to the construction level were examined in order to evaluate the possible practical implementation in continuous industrial operation.

Additionally, basic technologies of waste utilization were analyzed and reinterpreted in alternative conceptual ideas. Professional staff with many years of experience in this field were hired. The acquired knowledge is the essential basis for obtaining the necessary permits according to the German Immission Control Act.

As a result of the extensive studies, pyrolysis technology was selected as the preferred technology for industrial implementation at the TPL site in Hoyerswerda, Germany. This plant was expected to be able to process 10,000 TPA of mixed waste tyres consisting of both passenger car and commercial truck tyres.  

TPL then set out to redesign the resource recovery industry by implementing this new pyrolysis technology in Europe. This was not achieved without many challenges because at the time there was no market for the output products produced. Along with a lack of end-users for the products produced from the pyrolysis process, the output was of very low quality and was simply of no interest to the existing supply chains for reuse and reintroduction to the marketplace. The KleanTeam had to create the marketplace and prove that the output products from pyrolysis could be used commercially.

This required the innovation of the KleanTeam to redesign virtually every aspect of the technology and process metrics to improve not only the quality and longevity of the equipment needed but also significantly improve the quality of the product produced from the process itself. During this reworking, significant know-how was gained that simply could not be purchased by merely buying equipment out of the marketplace. 

As a result of the innovations developed by the TPL project, the intellectual property and know-how were then rolled up into a new company called Carbon Resources Recovery GmbH ("CRR") based in Berlin. This led to the development and redesign of the technology used in the ReOil project in Bukowno, Poland approximately 45 minutes from the city center of Katowice, Poland.

As a result of this success, Klean Industries acquired 100% ownership of CRR and the TPL technology portfolio that encompasses all of the process technology and know-how gained over a decade of tyre pyrolysis engineering.

Benefits Realized:

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

  • Est 1 million tyres a year recycled
  • 3,800 TPA of CBk carbon black
  • 4,500 TPA of marine-grade fuel oil
  • 1,500 TPA of steel
  • 17,500 TPA of Carbon Dioxide emission offset
  • Approx 50 jobs 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 Tyre Industry Project (TIP). TIP offers a framework for action that outlines impactful pathways for the tyre 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 Tyre Sector SDG Roadmap". See: https://www.wbcsd.org/Sector-Projects/Tire-Industry-Project/End-of-Life-Tires-ELTs