Germany alone produces about 630,000 tons of waste tires per year. The EU produces 3.2 million tons, and the US a total of 4.4 million. Even in the EU, no less than 4% ends up on a landfill, and 50% is burned in furnaces in the cement industry. Another major percentage is ground into granules and rubber flour to be used in road surfaces and sports floorings. The ecological and economic reutilization results are significantly below the value of the bound raw materials.Pigment Carbon Black
Waste-tire granules: an unrecovered treasure
In addition to oil and gas, rubber granules contain the high-tech material carbon black. Carbon black serves as a basic material for many industry sectors – for the production of dyes, tires, rubber, as well as plastic. This makes carbon black an important commodity for which demand is steadily increasing: experts are predicting an annual market growth of at least 4%. For 2011 alone they are expecting a global need totaling 11 million tons.
A method for recovering the raw materials used from waste-tire granules for the first time closes the resource cycle in tire production: the recovered carbon black is fed back into the production process with only minor losses. This significantly reduces the need for new crude oil and natural gas. Thus, tire manufacturers are less dependent on fossil fuels and the price volatilities of the commodities markets associated with them. As a consequence, purchase costs for carbon black and hence for the entire tire production decline considerably. Carbon Black N330
Global market for carbon black