Aircraft tyres on a commercial jet are an amazing example of advanced design and manufacture. After all they have to hit the tarmac and after an initial skid accelerate to 170 miles per hour and safely support the weight of a small office building.
But after six months, or 300 landings, they need replacement.
Although some can find further use on farm equipment or backhoes, most are ground into crumbed rubber for use in playgrounds and sporting fields.
Unfortunately, there is a limit on how much can be used for these purposes. Inevitably a large percentage is burnt as furnace fuel.
Green Distillation Technologies believes that a far better end for such a magnificent tyre is to be recycled into bio jet fuel to power future flights.
It sounds like the ultimate in the circular economy, but it can be achieved using the tyre recycling process pioneered by GDT.
We usually usually apply our technology to recycling old car tyres into oil, carbon and steel. A typical 10 kg car tyre yields 4 litres of oil, 4kg of carbon, 2kg of steel. A 70kg truck tyre provides about 27 litres of oil, 28 kg of carbon, 15 kg of steel and 4 tonne oversized mining dump truck tyre yields about 1.6 tonnes of carbon, 0.8 tonne of steel and 1500 litres of oil.
There is no shortage of raw material as there are plenty of old commercial aircraft tyres available. For example, a Boeing 777 has 14, an A380, 22 and the AN225 cargo aircraft, a whopping 32 tyres. Not to mention the thousands of old tyres discarded by general aviation and recreational flyers.
Green Distillation Technologies Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley, who holds a commercial pilot’s licence and has a background in the air freight industry, agrees that recycling end of life aviation tyres into bio jet fuel sounds the ultimate in the circular economy.
A very practical solution to a world-wide problem.