An $8.5 million plant to process end of life car and truck tyres will be constructed in Longford, Tasmania.
It will be built by an Australian company, Green Distillation Technologies Corporation which recently won a bronze medal for their technology in the Edison Awards, which is the world’s top innovation award. They were Australia’s first ever finalist in the awards.
They plan to start work on the site in Longford in mid-November and to have the facility operating in June 2016. It will operate 24/7 and provide permanent employment for twelve people.
They are currently commercialising their technology which recycles end of life (ELTs) tyres into saleable commodities of carbon, oil and steel and are now moving to full production with an $8 million upgrade to their processing plant in Warren, Western New South Wales with plans for six more plants in Australia.
They have operated the pilot plant in Warren since 2009 and the upgrade to full production will see it capable of processing 19,000 tonnes, or a mix of 658,000 car and truck tyres per year. This represents approximately 3% of the 24 million end-of-life tyres that are generated in Australia each year.
Tasmania generates 480 to 500,000 end of life car and truck tyres each year and already there is a stockpile of 1.3 million tyres in Longford waiting to be processed.
The proposed Longford plant will handle 658,000 end of life car and truck tyres 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. GDT sees no difficulty in selling the oil in Tasmania but the recovered carbon and steel may need to be exported.
GDT CEO Craig Dunn said that the major hurdle to be overcome is finance, but they are confident that funds will be available from investors when the Warren plant is operational.
“We are open to discussing any investment initiatives from Tasmanian interests, but if that is not forthcoming we believe we will be in a position to cover all the costs ourselves.
“We have leased the site we require, with an option to purchase and believe that it will take four months to complete the necessary permits to allow construction to commence in mid-November.
“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 not only emission free but the recycled oil is used as the heat source for the production process.
“It is the only process available in the world that remanufactures the rubber from old tyres into a different energy form as the other recycling methods merely change the shape or appearance of the rubber.
“Our income will come from selling the oil, carbon and steel, plus a percentage of the recycling fee paid by the motorist to the tyre dealer when they purchase new tyres,” Craig said.
Tasmanian tyre dealer Tim Chugg of Tyre Recycle Tasmania is very supportive of the venture and has travelled to the GDT Warren plant to see the process for himself.
“I was very impressed with what I saw and believe that this is the best way of disposing of end of life tyres.
“I have been morally troubled for some time by the prospect of shipping our old tyres to Vietnam or China to be burnt as furnace fuel with the smoke polluting the atmosphere and other alternatives for Tasmania like shipping end of life tyres to the mainland is not an economic option.
“The other means of tyre disposal like crumbing can be useful in a limited way, but there is a limit on how many playgrounds need rubber cushioning for their play equipment,” Tim Chugg said.
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)