Australian tyre recycler Green Distillation Technologies (GDT) and New Zealand’s CarbonScape have been nominated in the Environmental Achievement of the Year category in the annual Tire Technology International Awards.

The Awards, which are now in their 12th year, will be announced at a gala dinner at the Tire Technology Expo in Hannover, Germany on February 26.

Green Distillation Technology has developed a tyre recycling process that turns end-of-life car, truck and oversize tyres into high-value oil, carbon and steel. CarbonScape, based in Marlborough, New Zealand has developed technology turning sawdust and waste biomass into high purity, high-value carbon products, including graphite.

According to GDT, it has been discovered that the carbon produced by the company’s tyre recycling technology is highly compatible with CarbonScape’s own process for producing graphite.

GDT says that Graphite is defined as a ‘critical strategic mineral’ in the USA and Europe and global demand is growing at 5.8 per cent p.a. to 4.2 million tonnes which was worth $US30 billion ($AU44.5 billion) to 2018. Within the global graphite market, high purity graphite for Li-ion batteries is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 26 per cent to 2029 with pricing estimates of $US5,000 ($AU7,400) per tonne.

As well as Li-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles and stationary storage, potential end use of high-purity graphite includes solar panels, supercapacitors and other electronic applications.

The award nomination is not the only good news for GDT. Recently, the company signed an agreement worth up to $US100 million ($AU148 million) for 10 plants in the United States and a $50 million deal for five tyre recycling facilities in South Africa.

GDT Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley said that the award nomination was pleasing as it is an international recognition for a team that has developed innovative world-first technology that could help solve a massive international environmental problem.

“We have a refinery contract for all the oil we produce as it is regarded as light crude and easy to refine into petrol, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products and of course the current world price for oil is very high. Our carbon is high quality and can be used in a variety of products such as printer’s ink, computer cartridges and even cosmetics.

“Now with Carbonscape and by enhancing the carbon to graphite we could sell it for multiples of the current price which is a very significant difference.
“What we have achieved so far is a world breakthrough and we believe that in time our technology will eventually become the preferred means of recycling old tyres throughout the world.”

According to GDT, each typical 10 kg car tyre will yield 4 litres of oil, 4kg of carbon, and 2kg of steel, while a 70kg truck tyre will provide 27 litres of oil, 28 kg of carbon, and 15 kg of steel. A 4-tonne oversize mining dump truck tyre will yield 1.6 tonnes of carbon, 0.8 tonne of steel and 1500 litres of oil.

GDT operate a tyre processing plant at Warren in Western New South Wales, which is where the work on the future co-development of graphite will take place and they are in the capital fundraising stage. The company says a second commercial plant will be in Toowoomba, Queensland, which has secured all the necessary Government approvals, and they have plans for more plants in Wagga, Geelong, Elizabeth, Collie and Gladstone.

Source: Motor Trader E-Magazine (Feb 2020)

7 Feb 2020

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