Solid Waste & Recycling


Additive improves rubber for recycling

Evonik’s Vestenamer process additive allows waste rubber to be efficiently processed into a tough material used again in a variety of applications such as road construction, sports or playgrounds.

Every year, a waste volume of some 19.3 million tonnes of scrap tires is generated worldwide – including over 3.6 million tonnes in Europe alone. Twenty years ago, over half of all scrap tires were incinerated to generate energy in Germany, while only every tenth scrap tire was processed into granulate.

Now, the volume of the latter has caught up with energy-related processing. With Vestenamer, Evonik helps close the materials cycle for rubber—sustainably.

In the recycling of waste rubber, the addition of Vestenamer has proved its worth in the production from useful waste of rubber articles such as floor coverings, mats, and stand systems for signposting of road works and barriers.

“As a process additive Vestenamer improves the flowability of the rubber compound, as a result of which the material can be processed much more efficiently. The reactivity and polymer structure of Vestenamer are also important here: Both lead to a good network density between the rubber particles. This in turn positively impacts the mechanical properties,” says Dr. Peter Hannen, market development manager for Vestenamer.

“In short, Evonik’s process additive improves both the cost effectiveness of processing and the quality of the rubber parts when rubber is recycled.”

In addition to the economic aspect benefits of providing a cost-efficient raw material, the material recycling of scrap tires is also becoming more important from the ecological viewpoint. The use of scrap tire granulate in new products contributes significantly toward reducing the carbon footprint by up to one third as compared with products that do not use a recycled material. And the closed circular economy of rubber also alleviates the global scrap-tire problem.

Vestenamer has been used as a process additive from Evonik in the rubber industry for many years. Manufactured in the Marl Chemical Park (Germany), the polyoctenamer solves a number of different challenges in the compounding and processing of rubber; It is also used as an aid in the recycling of waste rubber.

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