Australia gets tyred of rubber waste

The world’s first recycling plant for oversized tyres is to enter construction in Western Australia. Green Distillation Technologies and the Tytec Group are collaborating on the processing plant in Perth, which […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The world’s first recycling plant for oversized tyres is to enter construction in Western Australia.

Green Distillation Technologies and the Tytec Group are collaborating on the processing plant in Perth, which will strip worn-out tyres down to their raw components in order to be reused.

Oversized tyres are classified as those with rim sizes ranging from 25 to 63 inches – they can weigh as much as four tonnes and often have a total diameter of more than four metres.

The plant’s ‘destructive distillation’ process will convert the tyres, which are largely sourced from mining sites, into oil, carbon and steel.

One weighing 3.5 tonnes will yield roughly 1,500 litres of oil, 1.5 tonnes of carbon and varying amounts of steel reinforcing, which is sent back to the manufacturer for reuse.

The process marks a departure from the usual method of disposal used in Australia, which is to bury old tyres in dumping areas.

It’s estimated 155,000 tonnes of various size tyres reach end-of-life in Australia each year, of which 79.4% are left on-site.

Tytec Recycling Chairman, Brett Fennell, said: “The environmental benefit of recycling very large and hard to handle tyres that have finished their useful life into high grade reusable commodities such as oil, carbon and steel, rather than just burying the problem for future generations to try and solve is enormous.”