The environmental problem

The need to reduce emission of CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere has become increasingly pressing. In this regard, the various international agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the climate agreements of Doha in 2012 and Paris in 2015, have formally established the commitment of the acceding countries to significantly reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

The Kyoto agreement provides for a 5.2% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the years 2008 to 2012 compared to 1990 emissions. Subsequently, the new climate agreements of Doha in 2012 have extended the time to reduce emissions until 2022 and the further Paris agreements in 2015 have increased the number of countries participating in the initiative. Therefore, by 2022, all countries that have ratified these agreements must have reduced their emissions compared to 1990.Worldwide demand for carbon black in 1997 was around 3 million tonnes. In 2022 analysts forecast a need of 25 million tonnes, with annual growth of 5.9% from 2015 onwards. (Source: global carbon black market – trends and forecast 2015-2020).

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End of life tyres

To date only a part of the tyres to be disposed of is directed towards material recovery chains with the use of poorly effective technologies:

ban on landfilling  -
incineration  -
cold treatments with problems  -
of use of final products    

Virgin carbon black is the result of incomplete combustion of oil derivatives. The production of 1t generates the direct emission in combustion of 2.87t of CO2 and about 5t of water is consumed or polluted. The purification of these waters generates about 2t of CO2 emissions. Therefore, 1t of virgin carbon black generates just under 5t of CO2.

The Tyrebirth process produces a carbon black of the highest quality, equal to virgin carbon black, without combustion and without water pollution. The E. E. cogeneration alone produces a minimum part of CO2, quantifiable in less than 0.2t per 1t of carbon black.

Today there are 1.3 billion motor vehicles circulating in the world

In 2035, 2 billion motor vehicles are estimated worldwide. There is a real problem of recovery of end-of-life tyres in an ecologically sustainable way.

The amount of material to work with is enormous, in 2005 approximately 2.75 million tonnes of end-of-life tyres (ELT) were produced in Europe and a similar amount was disposed of as waste. The production forecast for 2020 is 25 million tonnes. ELTs are a problematic waste to be recycled due to their high annual production and their heterogeneous composition. (Source: Mark, J.E., Arman, B., Eirich, F.R., 2005. Science and Technology of Rubber combustion of scrap tire, Petroleum & Coal, 48: 15-26).

Only 44% of the ELTs are sent for material recovery (production of new products, engineering work such as roads, street furniture, filling materials). (Source: L'Italia del Riciclo, 2011. Federazione Italiana Imprese e Servizi, Unione Nazionale Imprese Recupero - L'Italia del Riciclo, Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Rimini).