Hungarian New Energy Ltd. was founded in 2003 and it specialises in waste tire pyrolysis. The company developed a method with which they can make tires and other plastic components 80−85% recyclable by decomposing them into smaller molecules.
Every year, approximately 3.5 million tonnes of car tires are produced in Europe, and only a small portion of waste tires are recycled for surfacing playgrounds or during the production of rubber bitumen, Infostart reported. In the latter case, the crumb rubber from scrap tires is blended with bitumen and the final product has improved durability, longer lifetime, lower life cycle/maintenance cost, increased permanent deformation resistance and traffic noise reduction effect compared to conventional bitumen. MOL and the University of Pannonia developed this environmentally friendly recycling technology. Nonetheless, most waste tires are burnt or used as construction material waste.
The Hungarian-owned New Energy aimed to develop a rubber recycling method that can permanently solve the environmental impact of discarded tires. After conducting pyrolysis-focused research for approximately a decade, the company found a solution for recycling tires without generating secondary pollution to the environment. During the process of pyrolysis,
the pre-shredded tires are converted into gas and distilled into oil. This oil is used as fuel or further transformed into plastic and soot, which are reused in the tire industry and the recovered steel is reused in the steel industry,
explained László Ürge, one of the Managing Directors at DBH Group. He also added that
New Energy is among the first companies in the world to create a fully circular economy for tire recycling.
Rubber waste is usually treated as a kind of plastic; thus, the technology mentioned above be applied in the case of other plastics. With this solution, a vast amount of plastic waste can be eliminated, reducing water pollution.
Nowadays, more and more leading companies are committed to working on solutions for the global plastic waste problem. BASF recently signed an uptake supply agreement with New Energy as part of the ChemCyclingTM project which was started in 2018 and focuses on chemically reprocessing post-consumer plastic waste on an industrial scale. According to the agreement, New Energy will supply BASF with up to 4,000 metric tons of pyrolysis oil per year derived from waste tires.
Featured image: video still from NewEnergy short video