European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL) has announced that the company has agreed the acquisition of Murfitts Industries, a UK-based tire recycling business.
Following the agreement, ETEL will acquire 100% ownership of Murfitts, which at present recycles approximately 20 million car tires each year through its national network. Murfitts repurposes end-of-life tires – collected from tire manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – by processing them to make an array of rubber granulate products.
“We have a long-standing relationship with Murfitts and even as separate companies our operations have been seamlessly connected, with joined-up processes,” commented Sean Tanaka, CEO, ETEL. “This acquisition makes clear strategic sense as we can bring the responsible collection, processing and remanufacturing of tire material under our own roof. This will ensure that customers, both retail and wholesale, can be confident that their used tires are being processed in the most sustainable way possible.”
Having invested heavily in its recycling processes, Murfitts complex system now has the capability to recover materials used in the production of tires before repurposing them for the manufacture of new products such as modified asphalts.
Additionally, Murfitts has also been developing proprietary pyrolysis technology. The thermochemical process is used to decompose tire feedstock at high temperatures in a vacuum, turning them into high-value recycled materials such as carbon black and recycled fuel oil. The company hopes the technology will aid in replacing carbon black with a recycled alternative to increase sustainability.
Due to its national collection and processing infrastructure, the company is capable of supplying consistent feedstock necessary for commercial-scale pyrolysis. The acquisition by ETEL will enable Murfitts to scale up operations and to invest in process development.
“This is the natural next step for our company. Society is becoming increasingly focused on what happens to products once they have fulfilled their initial use, but this is something we have based our entire business on from day one,” said Mark Murfitt, founder and managing director of Murfitts Industries. “I wanted to partner with a company that fully understands the tire industry and can really help continue to develop our operations, especially on scaling up the pyrolysis program. We are already seeing very promising results in this area, which will be a game-changer in reducing waste and recovering even more valuable raw material.”
To date, ETEL and Murfitts have collected more than 50 million post-consumer tires. Moving forward, the company seeks to expand the collection of end-of-life tires in addition to investing in the commercialization of pyrolysis technology to reduce product waste and to ensure sustainability within the tire value chain.