Solid Waste & Recycling

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Recycling Sidebar: Tire-to-Tire Recycling

The number of scrap tires generated in North America is staggering. According to a report published in November 2009 by the US EPA, consumers and industry in the United States generated just under 300 million scrap tires, or approximately five...


The number of scrap tires generated in North America is staggering. According to a report published in November 2009 by the US EPA, consumers and industry in the United States generated just under 300 million scrap tires, or approximately five million tonnes of non-biodegradable waste rubber, in 2008. The EPA estimates that about a billion tires are dumped every year in landfills worldwide.

The good news is that recycling of scrap tires has increased exponentially over the last decade. Government agencies in many countries have worked with industry to raise awareness and find new beneficial and commercially-viable ways to use recycled scrap tires. New markets continue to develop for recycled rubber, creating what is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

Today, the largest scrap tire markets are: tire-derived fuel (TDF), civil engineering applications, crumbed-rubber applications. Scrap tires are typically shredded or chopped into pieces, then sold as nuggets, crumbs or mulch depending on size. Some recyclers have evolved technologies that enable them to grind scrap rubber into powder form. Converting scrap rubber into fine dust allows it to be used as a cost-reducing additive and filler in the production of various products.

Recycled and reclaimed rubber is now used in the creation of injury-reducing playground surfaces, non-slip flooring and pool aprons, waterproof membranes and seals for construction, building foundations, roof tiles, packaging filler and bags, floating docks, tennis courts, noise barriers, asphalt additive, concrete additive, railroad ties, conveyor belts, footwear, carpet underlay, roof tiles, live stock mattress, thermoplastic “elastomers”, and myriad other eco-friendly products.

Modern and highly efficient rubber-recycling technologies are emerging to supply tomorrow’s largest market for recycled scrap rubber: the fabrication of new and retread tires. The Tire Retread Information Bureau estimates 24 million tires are retreaded and sold each year in the U.S. and Canada. Most are used by the trucking, aircraft, construction and agriculture industries.

Retread tires offer a lower cost alternative to new tires. They’re also a “green” product that saves millions of gallons of oil each year. Only seven gallons of oil (on average) are needed to retread a used tire compared to 22 gallons to produce a new tire, reducing oil required for tire production by 70 per cent.

Many tire manufacturers incorporate recycled rubber into their tires and retreads. But until now, they could only blend in one to two per cent recycled rubber powder without risking performance safety or even catastrophic failure. This was because powdered rubber lost essential properties that are inherent in “virgin” rubber, such as elasticity and resilience — properties that are vital for tire performance and safety.

Magnum D’Or Resources

Magnum D’Or Resources is one company determined to change this. As an innovative tire recycling company, it’s developed next-generation processing technologies and techniques that enable the production of custom multi-application recycled rubber powder compounds that have the elasticity and resilience of natural virgin rubber.

Magnum’s closed-loop recycling technology eliminates the greenhouse gases produced by old-fashioned recycling processes, removing the steel mesh and fibre from the scrap tires and converting them into purified high-grade tire crumb. The company has collaborated with Sekhar Research Innovations that has granted it exclusive North American rights to a unique activation and devulcanization process that imparts to recycled rubber the same elasticity and resilience as virgin rubber and allows for the creation of new custom compounds.

Independent test results validate that Magnum SRI’s rubber-activated compounds possess all the properties of natural rubber compounds, meeting all technical and performance parameters needed for value-added applications. Magnum’s entry into the market comes at a time when rubber manufacturers have been squeezed between recessionary forces and higher fuel and operating costs, hurting margins and driving up product prices.

Now, using custom formulated re-activated powder compounds, new truck tire, retread and motorcycle tire manufacturers can blend in an unprecedented proportion of recycled content of between eight and 25 per cent, depending on the performance specifications of the application. This substantial usage of recycled content translates into substantial savings in raw material costs for manufacturers without any compromise in performance, properties and safety.

Chad Curtis is the Founder of Magnum d’Or Resources Inc. and Magnum Recycling Canada, Inc in Magog, Quebec. Contact Chad at mdor@magnumresources.net


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