Stockholm – Scandinavian Enviro Systems can see “favourable opportunities” to establish a commercial-scale waste tire recycling plant in the UK, the company has announced.
The tire pyrolysis company has completed a feasibility study which suggests that there would be “large domestic demand” for recovered pyrolysis oil in the UK for the production of sustainable vehicle fuel.
The feasibility study was conducted by 2G BioPOWER – Enviro’s representative in the UK – and also involved an unnamed international oil company with operations in the UK, and the engineering company OSL, Enviro said 23 June.
While local demand for recovered carbon black (rCB) remains more difficult to assess, the study found that interest in pyrolysis oil “is already so large today that it will be possible to sell all the oil that can be produced.”
The trend is supported by the UK government’s incentives to produce the so-called "development fuel", a new category of renewable-based vehicle fuel.
According to Enviro, 2G BioPOWER received the Ministry of Transport’s approval in 2019 to convert Enviro’s pyrolysis oil into development fuel.
Following the approval, the company has seen “large interest in pyrolysis oil from a major UK oil refinery,” Enviro added.
The feasibility study investigated the construction of a plant comprising 20 of Enviro’s reactors, representing a capacity of processing 120 kilotonnes per annum of waste tires, Enviro CEO Thomas Sörensson told ERJ 24 June.
According to Sörensson, about one-third of the volume will be recovered to sustainable rCB filler materials, which could reduce the production CO2 footprint by 80% compared to fossil-based carbon black materials.
Half of the input will be processed into tire pyrolysis oil with a bio-content of up to 40%, he added. This could possibly be blended into fuel applications to reduce CO2 impact of fuels.
A fraction of steel will also be recovered in the process, which can be used as raw materials for other industries.
Enviro expects half of the plant's feedstock end-of-life tires to be supplied through imports, as the UK’s infrastructure network does not currently support the full supply of waste tires locally.
While demand for the rCB is anticipated to be small within the UK, Sörensson said the global demand for the material remained strong and that the plant's products could 'be easily exported.'
“In conclusion, this means that we foresee favourable fundamental conditions for establishing plants based on our recycling technology in the UK,” he noted.
The UK plant will support Enviro's 'aggressive expansion plan' which was announced on 20 May.
As part of the plan, the Swedish recycler aims to establish up to four new facilities per year to ultimately build 30 plants by 2030. West Sweden and Central Europe have been identified as initial priority markets.
Enviro has developed a patented technology to recover carbon black, oil and steel from end-of-life vehicle tires.