ERJ staff report (RPN)
Miles Moore, Rubber & Plastics News
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—Despite the weak economy, the recycled rubber market is seeing modest growth and should continue to grow, especially in the rubberizsed asphalt area, according to Jeffrey Kendall, CEO of Liberty Tire Recycling.
"The use of rubber is asphalt has been impacted by state budgets, but its overall acceptability for use throughout the U.S. and Canada has grown significantly during the last year or so," Kendall said. "This could and should be a terrific growth market."
Rubberised asphalt remains the new recycling rubber market with the greatest potential, Kendall said in an exclusive interview.
Devulcanisation, despite its adherents, doesn't appear to be on the horizon yet as a commercial application, according to Kendall. But the various methods to break rubber down into fuel and carbon black seem to have big potential, if only for the effort devoted to them, he said.
"The number of individuals attempting this is in the many dozens," he said. "No one seems to have found a successful way to implement this strategy, but many are trying hard."
The weak economy and high gas prices have reduced the generation of scrap tires, because of fewer miles driven and the resulting drop in replacement tire sales, according to Kendall.
There also has been downward pressure on prices for some recycled rubber products, he said. This was caused partly by weak demand for crumb rubber in Europe, which caused a European crumb producer to export crumb to the U.S. at low prices, he said.
Crumb rubber for molded goods is growing nicely and should continue to grow, according to Kendall. The rubber infill market dipped about 20 percent in 2009 and has never really rebounded, but it has held more or less steady ever since, he said.
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Article from Rubber & Plastics News