UK tire recycler Murfitts Industries has acquired the tire collection business of long-time business partner Sapphire Energy Recovery, part of Tarmac, the sustainable building materials group. The deal includes Sapphire’s tire processing plants in Birmingham and Manchester, which will lead to Murfitts increasing its processing capacity in the UK, giving it coverage for the first time in Scotland, the North of England and the West Midlands.
Murfitts Industries will continue to supply Tyre Derived Fuel (TDF) to Tarmac and 12 Sapphire employees will transfer to Murfitts Industries as part of the agreement.
“As with many recycled products, it is necessary to develop and subsequently grow the markets, but at the same time there must be outlets for the recycled material,” managing director, Mark Murfitt told TTI. “Murfitts sees TDF as an important step in the process, enabling us to build infrastructure and processes that will help our clients to be part of the circular economy and to significantly reduce the impact of end-of-life tires (ELTs) on our planet. The supply of TDF to CHR, Cemex and LaFarge Holcim – the three largest cement companies in the world – guarantees this as TDF plays an important part in reducing the carbon footprint of cement manufacturing by displacing fossil fuels.”
Murfitt added that the company will continue to invest in and grow its ELT recycling capabilities in the UK, viewing the deal as a strategic acquisition that will accelerate the company’s ambition to develop a green recycling framework for the UK.
“Our ongoing commitment to further developing products has seen us recently come to the end of a £2m (US$2.5m) research and development project to commercialize the production of a recycled carbon black (rCB),” he said.
“Our first production plant comes on stream this month. The rCB produced can be used as a direct replacement for virgin carbon black in tire compounds, as well as offering a clear route to the circular economy through the use of recycled content. We believe that the product actually improves the overall performance of the tire beyond that that can be obtained from the virgin carbon black. Over the next six months we will be offering the material for trial with tire manufacturers.”