While rubber is in high demand – not least in the automotive industry – 14 million tonnes of tires are discarded annually. AnVa Polytech is the first company in the world to recycle carbon black from discarded rubber and turn it into new components. Their environmental rubber saves 60 percent of the carbon emissions.
”Many are talking about the circular economy. We are making the concept a reality, and we are probably the first in the world to commercialize an environmental rubber based on carbon black from discarded tires. The rubber is used to make automotive components, which closes the circle and relieves the environmental impact”, says Bo Norlin, CEO of AnVa Polytech. ”The rubber waste from our own production process is making the same journey, and the recycled carbon black lives on in new rubber components”.
Volvo is first to go
Volvo Cars has approved the recycled environmental rubber for use in body plugs in the new models XC90, V90 and S90, about to be released on the world market. The approval comes after rigorous testing, which has verified that the components meet Volvo’s performance requirements.
”Except for the tires, a car may have between 35 and 70 different rubber components, including seals, suspensions, plugs, wiper blades and hoses. We know that the potential for environmental rubber is huge in the automotive industry, and we also believe there are opportunities in other industries conscious of environmental issues. Environmental rubber is not more expensive than traditional rubber products, and we are getting a head start on the competition”, says Bo Norlin.
Carbon black obtained by pyrolysis
”The environmental rubber has been developed in close collaboration with Scandinavian Enviro Systems. Enviro provides the carbon black, extracted from scrapped tires by pyrolysis. They operate a production facility in Dalsland, relatively close to us. Carbon black is a very fine carbon powder; it accounts for about one third the weight of rubber tires, and it gives essential properties to a rubber compound – such as tensile strength and tear resistance. In terms of climate impact, the use of recycled carbon black achieves a 60 percent decrease of the CO2 impact compared to virgin material. Our own rubber waste will also be recycled in cooperation with Enviro”.
Every year, 14 million tonnes of tires are discarded. Burning or granulating millions of tonnes of tires is a poor solution to this waste problem, both economically and environmentally. The tires contain substantial amounts of quality material which can be extracted. The extraction method patented by Scandinavian Enviro Systems is based on pyrolysis – a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. In the thermochemical decomposition, the material is divided in its constituent parts rather than combusted; pyrolysis of shredded tires produces carbon black, oil, steel and gases. Read more about Scandinavian Enviro Systems and their method in the article ”Revolutionizing the rubber tire recycling industry”.
”We have an environmental strategy focusing on green technology development. The automotive industry is one of our most important customers, and has high standards in many areas. We are convinced that our environmental rubber will generate a demand from other sectors as well, and create long-term business growth”, Bo Norlin says.
The article was published in August 2016.