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Dated: 29 January 2010

New Zealand Tyre Recycling Company About To Launch


A very common dilemma for people with used tyres and a problem for the environment is what to do with them once they have served their purpose. It turns out that a group of entrepreneurs in New Zealand may have come up with a highly innovative use for used tyres and reports coming in from newspapers suggest that they are close to taking it commercial.

It was back in 2004 that an inventor by the name of Chris Newman was working on a synthetic fuel project. He found that he needed an easy source of carbon, which was an important component in the process.

He decided that a good course of action would be to try and extract the carbon used within tyres and began trying to find an effective way to extract the element.

 During his research however his peers in the USA suggested that abandoning his synthetic fuel project and looking into coming up with a new way to recycle tyres would be a better and more fulfilling business to pursue.

With help from engineer Roger Monkton and chemical engineer Hamish Hamilton Chris Newman a prototype processor was created that could extract 8kg of carbon. The trio then went on to improve the machine so that the amount of carbon being produced rose to 32kg.

The process works as such: shredded tyres are placed in a 12m container and then broken down by heating them to 650C.  Gases are created from the heating and the cooled. The liquid that forms is then distilled to make carbon, steel or oil.

The machine is fueled by the gas it produces, making it self-sustainable. Even better is the fact that it does not release any smoke or toxic emissions.
A lot of effort has gone into making the “Tyregone Processors” - as they are called - a commercially viable recycling business and the company have patented the technology. Reportedly, they now have plans to expand into Australia, the USA and Asia – no talk of Europe yet but if this business is as promising as it sounds and works out to be a success, there’s no doubt we’ll start seeing them over here before long.

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