Michelin says it is commencing construction of its first tire recycling plant in collaboration with Enviro, a Swedish company that has developed technology to recover carbon black, oil, steel and gas from end-of-life tires.
Located in Chile’s Antofagasta region, the plant will be able to recycle 30,000 tons of earthmover tires a year, or nearly 60% of such tires scrapped every year in Chile. According to Michelin, production at the site is scheduled to get underway in 2023.
The company states that scrap tires will be collected directly from customer premises and then transported to the plant to be cut up and recycled. Utilizing Enviro’s technology, which produces high-quality reusable materials like carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas and steel, will, claim the companies, enable all components of an end-of-life tire to be recovered for reuse.
Michelin’s current plans call for 90% of the recovered materials to be reused in a variety of rubber-based products, such as tires, conveyor belts and anti-vibration products. The remaining 10% will be reused directly by the plant to generate its own-use heat and power.
Sander Vermeulen, vice president, marketing and business development, strategy and new business for Michelin’s High-Tech Materials business line, commented on the project, “This is a major milestone that will enable us to offer customers a new-generation recycling solution, while developing new business for the group. We are currently in talks with several Chilean mining customers to sign long-term contracts. By scaling up Enviro’s technology, we are offering them a solution that will support their environmental objectives and enables the development of a circular economy.”