A Closed Recycling Loop

Pyrolyx technology has created the world’s first market-ready process to deliver a closed recycling loop for converting end-of-life tires (ELTs) into recovered Carbon Black (rCB) on a commercial scale. Every tonne of rCB saves 2.5 tonnes of CO2 compared to traditional Carbon Black production.

The result of our process is a mutually beneficial conversation between two challenges. On the one hand, our solution for ELTs addresses the question of the disposal of ELTs in an environmentally responsible manner. The use of rCB in tires allows the tire industry to “close the loop” on ELTs, something that has never before been possible and will yield invaluable possibilities for new generations of green tires. Second, the substitution of rCB results in a decreased environmental footprint for Carbon Black production.

The Pyrolyx process is an example of the circular economy at work, taking one key input (ELTs) and producing four commercial outputs:

Reduced CO2 Emissions

Pyrolyx’s closed-loop solution addresses the global problem of mounting  harmful emissions. Compared to traditional carbon black production, every ton of recovered carbon black we produce saves 2.5 tons of C02. Every Pyrolyx 20 oven plant saves approximately 32,000 tons of C02 from being released into the environment annually.

Recovered Carbon Black Benefits

Recovered Carbon Black (or rCB) is a material derived from scrap tires by pyrolysis. While rCB can be utilized in all the same ways as virgin Carbon Black, its production process is vastly superior to the latter’s in that it is sustainable, cost-efficient, and can meet growing consumer demand without compromising the environment.

Based on customer feedback and application testing, Pyrolyx estimates that recovered Carbon Black can substitute for virgin Carbon Black at rates from 10% up to 100% depending on the application.

10-30% rCB
  • Passenger car/light truck tire tread
  • Heavy duty conveyor belts (mining, etc.)
  • High pressure hoses
  • Transmission belts
30-50% rCB
  • Passenger car/light truck tire sidewall
  • Passenger car/light truck tire undertread
  • Passenger car/ light truck body and belt plies
  • lndustrial/agricultural tire tread and carcass
  • Light/moderate duty conveyor belts
  • Rubber sheeting/geomembranes
  • Wirecable jacketing
  • Gaskets & seals
  • Rubber roofing
50-100% rCB
  • Passenger car/light truck tire innerliner
  • Passenger car/light truck tire bead/apex
  • Plastic masterbatch (for general plastic compounds)
  • Polyolefin films (trash bags, agricultural film)
  • Plastic pipe
  • Newspaper inks

In addition to these various applications, rcB offers a multitude of competitive advantages over virgin Carbon Black, presenting not only a superior footprint but also a higher-quality and more cost-efficient alternative.

Competitive Advantages

In addition to these various applications, rcB offers a multitude of competitive advantages over virgin Carbon Black, presenting not only a superior footprint but also a higher-quality and more cost-efficient alternative.

Environmental Benefits
  • Carbon dioxide savings: Every ton of rCB saves approximately 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide compared to the production of one ton of Carbon Black. To put this into perspective, each 20 oven plant reduces CO2 emissions, compared to traditional Carbon Black manufacture, by over 32,000 tonnes annually.

  • Oil savings: Using recovered Carbon Black saves the consumption of approximately 1.5 – 2 tons of oil per ton of Carbon Black produced and enables tires to be used as recycled inputs.

  • Tire Recycling: Each 20 oven plant, the size of the first Indiana plant uses approximately 4,000,000 ELTs annually in an environmentally conscious manner. If not for Pyrolyx, these ELTs would be destined for dumping or burning.

  • Reduced sulfur and nitrogen oxides Emissions (SOx/NOx): rCB production does not result in significant emissions of SOx/NOx, addressing growing pressure on US Carbon Black plants to reduce air emissions.

Regulatory Support
  • Shift to recycling: Due to regulatory activity and sustainability efforts, tire and masterbatch producers are increasingly seeking to utilise recycled inputs in their products.

  • Regulatory targets: In the European Union, Directive 2000/53/EC set a target of reuse and recycling for all end-of-life vehicles to 85% of the average car weight per year by 1 January 2015.

  • Increasingly, retailers seeking to dispose of their ELTs are mandating that they be managed in an environmentally sustainable manner – Pyrolyx is the only current alternative for many of these retailers and car manufacturers to dispose of their end-of-life tires with environmental benefits.

Cost Competitive
  • Pricing advantage: rCB is currently priced competitively with virgin Carbon Black while bringing numerous benefits.

  • Abundant inputs: ELTs, the input for rCB production, are abundant and, typically, either free or negative cost.

Increased Product Safety
  • Significantly lowered production of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH): Traditional rubber produces huge amounts of PAH and has been linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease. PAH compounds are strictly regulated in air, water and soil due to their toxicity.

  • Safe for Food Packaging Applications: Pyrolyx supplies rCB grades in full compliance with European Regulation EU 10-2011 Plastics Intended to Come into Contact with Food.

High Quality Product
  • Superior product qualities: In certain applications, Pyrolyx recovered Carbon Black has been shown to have superior qualities to virgin Carbon Black (for example, better heat and abrasion resistance leading to longer tire life and lower carcinogens).

  • rCB can offer more uniform particle size distribution (PSD), an essential quality for high-end applications such as tires.

“Green” Marketing
  • Consumer trends: Environmental concerns are increasingly important to the consumer. rCB is an environmentally sustainable product and can be marketed as such.

  • Collaboration with manufacturers on Green initiatives: Pyrolyx is conducting projects with two leading automotive manufacturers to implement rCB in their new vehicles by using their ELTs as feedstock to generate rCB.