Michelin begins construction of its first-ever tire recycling plant
Michelin is launching construction on its first tire recycling plant in collaboration with Enviro, a Swedish company that has developed a patented technology to recover carbon black, oil, steel and gas from end-of-life tires.
Based 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 nationwide.
Work will begin in 2021, with production scheduled to get underway in 2023. More than $30 million will be invested in building Michelin's first new-generation end-of-life tire processing plant.
A COMPREHENSIVE RECYCLING SOLUTION THAT RECOVERS EVERYTHING IN A TIRE FOR REUSE
The new-generation recycling plant will support the circular economy with innovative recycling processes. Scrap tires will be collected directly from customer premises, then transported to the plant to be cut up and recycled.
Enviro's technology, which produces new, high-quality reusable materials like carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas and steel, will enable everything in an end-of-life tire to be recovered for reuse.
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.
This initial recycling plant will enable Michelin to offer a comprehensive recycling solution, from collecting end-of-life tires to reusing the recovered raw materials in the manufacture of new products.
"Thanks to this joint venture with Enviro, we are very proud to announce the construction of the Michelin Group's first recycling plant. 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."
- Sander Vermeulen, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, Strategy and New Business for the High-Tech Materials business line
A FURTHER ILLUSTRATION OF THE GROUP'S EXPANSION IN SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
The future tire recycling plant is fully aligned with the Group's commitment to incorporating an increasing amount of sustainable materials in its tires, as illustrated by the VISION Concept.
Aware that the speed and nature of innovation in this area require new forms of cooperation, Michelin has positioned itself as a unifying force for developing innovative partnerships across a diverse range of technological disciplines.
This manifestation of the partnership with Enviro follows on from other initiatives and partnerships forged with trailblazers in the area of recycling and sustainable materials. The underlying goal in the many partnerships and initiatives in which Michelin is participating is to create and develop recycling systems, for end-of-life tires but also for plastic waste.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.