Australian start-up Green Distillation Technologies says its world-first tyre recycling method can recover energy from end-of-life tyres, with zero emissions.
GDT is commercialising an Australian technology that recovers energy from old tyres. The Melbourne-based business is about to open a full, six-module plant in NSW, where it has been operating a single-module demonstration plant for some time.
“The GDT technology is known as ‘Destructive Distillation’,” the company says. “[It] uses controlled heat to reduce whole tyres to their constituent elements which then reform into oils which are distilled and collected.
“Carbon is the most abundant element in tyre rubber and is delivered up in powder form of high purity. Steel that is used in tyre manufacture is collected clean and unchanged.”
GDT, an unlisted public company, has raised approximately $14m in private equity since 2009, according to a BRW report. It plans to raise $12m in its current round in Australia, and is also running a US$35m raise in the USA, to build plants there.
“The process plants are designed in modular form with a single module comprising two processing tubes and all the ancillary equipment,” GDT explains on its website.
“A commercial scale plant consists of six of these modules and is capable of processing 19,000 tonnes of tyres per year. This represents approximately 3% of the [end-of-life tyres] produced in Australia annually.”
GDT’s process reduces the tyres to 40% carbon, 35% oil and 15% steel by weight. Once the six-module plant is launched in NSW, the company will begin selling these products for the first time.
“The GDT process is currently the only process available in Australia that remanufactures the rubber content of the ELT into a different energy form,” the company claims. “Other processes merely change the shape and/or appearance of the rubber.
“The oil produced from the GDT process can be used as a heating fuel, direct into some stationery diesel engines or is capable of further refinement into better engine fuels.
“The carbon is a high grade product replacing other carbons sourced from fossil fuels. The steel is returned directly to the scrap steel.”