New environmental solutions will provide the jobs of tomorrow
It is becoming a cliché to say that the jobs of tomorrow will come from technologies that have not yet been invented and it is also true to say that many of these jobs will come from solutions to environmental problems that mankind has created.
One new world-first Australian technology has emerged to solve a massive worldwide environmental problem, what to do with end-of-life car and truck tyres.
Green Distillation Technologies has developed a process for recycling end-of-life (ELTs) car and truck tyres into oil, carbon and steel and will commence production later this year at their plant in Warren, Western New South where they have been running trials since 2009, are planning another facility in Northern Tasmania which they expect to have operating in June 2016 and have plans for six more plants in Australia.
They face a daunting task as no one knows how many old tyres there are around the world. For example, the recent Hyder Report indicated that 51 million end of life tyres entered the Australian waste stream in 2013-14 and only 5 per cent were recovered locally.
Of that total, 32 percent were exported where they are mainly used as furnace fuel for brick making in China and Vietnam with the smoke going to the atmosphere, which is an environmental disaster.
In addition to those numbers, there are dumps, legal and otherwise of old tyres around Australia. There is one in Stawell, Victoria where there is estimated to be nine to ten million old tyres and there is a stockpile in Northern Tasmania of 1.3 million.
Earlier this year Green Distillation Technologies discovery was recognised when they received a bronze medal in the Edison Awards, which are the world’s top competition for innovation. They were the first Australian company to be invited to enter.
This brought the process to the attention of the United States where they have a similar problem with end-of-life tyres.
It is estimated that they would initially require 30 GDT tyre recycling plants and even then these would only process approximately 18 per cent of the 250 million end of life tyres generated in the US each year.
Recycling a typical end-of-life 10 kg car tyre will yield 4kg of carbon, 1.5kg of steel and 4 litres of oil while a 70kg truck tyre will provide 28 kg of carbon, 11 kg of steel and 28 litres of oil.
The giant tyres used in mining dump trucks are currently disposed by being buried in old mines but with the proviso that they must be marked with map coordinates and dug up when they can be satisfactorily recycled. When that occurs a typical 3000 kg tyre will yield 1200 kgs of carbon, 600 kg of steel and 1250 litres of oil.
The oil produced from the GDT process can be used as a heating fuel, direct into some stationary diesel engines or is capable of further refinement into automotive or aviation fuels, while the carbon is a high grade product that can replace those sourced from fossil fuels and the steel is returned directly to tyre manufacturers for reuse.
The process is a closed loop and therefore is emission free and the recycled oil is used as the production heat source.
It is the only process available in the world that remanufactures the rubber from old tyres into a different energy form as most other recycling methods merely change the shape or appearance of the rubber through slicing or grinding.
About Green Distillation Technologies: GDT is an Australian company which has developed technology to recycle end‐of‐life tyres into carbon, oil and steel.
Released for Green Distillation Technologies by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)