Mercedes taps pyrolysis oil-based polymers for new models
25 Aug 2022
BASF produces materials from oil supplied by tire recycler Pyrum
Dillingen, Germany – Waste tire pyrolysis company Pyrum Innovations AG and German chemicals giant BASF SE are one step closer to ‘closing the recycling loop’ in a partnership to supply sustainable materials to automotive major Mercedes-Benz AG.
As part of the collaboration, BASF is using Pyrum’s pyrolysis oil from recycled tires in combination with biomethane from agricultural waste to produce new plastics for car components, said the end-of-life-tire (ELT) processor 24 Aug.
Using the two raw materials creates ‘a completely new plastic that has the same properties as new plastic made from fossil raw materials,' Pyrum added.
The plastic is certified according to the so-called "mass balance method": An independent certification confirms the use of secondary materials in a product.
This year, the EQE and S-Class will be the first production models to have arched door handles using the plastic.
“We are rethinking the composition of all the materials in our vehicles," said Markus Schaefer, chief technology officer Mercedes?Benz Group in a separate statement.
"We anticipate being able to chemically recycle several hundred tonnes of scrap tires from Mercedes-Benz vehicles every year and use the resulting plastic in our new vehicles," he added.
Commenting on the partnership, Pyrum CEO Pascal Klein said the use of the oil as the basis for the manufacture of Mercedes-Benz vehicle components showed the "high quality the product."
Pyrum and BASF have been collaborating since September 2020, when the German chemicals major became one of the largest investors in the recycler.
At the time, BASF said it would uptake most of the pyrolysis oil and process it into new chemical products via a mass balance approach within its ChemCycling project.
BASF also stated that it anticipated to build up production capacities of up to 100,000 tonnes of pyrolysis oil within the next years together with additional partners.
Based in Dillingen, Pyrum has been operating a waste tire recycling plant since May 2020. There, it processes up to 10 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of end-of-life tires to produce pyrolysis oil and recovered carbon black.
The company is currently expanding its production site aiming to double processing capacity to 20ktpa of waste tires.
In July, the recycler established a joint venture to build and operate a scrap tire pyrolysis plant in Bavaria, Germany.
The JV, named Revalit GmbH will establish a unit with capacity to process 20ktpa of scrap tires in the port of Straubing from 2024.