Michelin Announces Its First Tire Recycling Plant

Image: Courtesy Michelin-From Left: Michelin Sander Vermeulench, Sonia Artinian-Fredou and Noémie Assenat

The over US $ 30 million plant in Chile is a joint venture with the Swedish company Enviro.

France-based tire producer Michelin has announced that it is starting construction of its first tire recycling plant in collaboration with Enviro, a Swedish company that has developed a patented technology to recover carbon black, oil, steel and gas from lifetime tires. The plant represents an investment of more than US $ 30 million.

Headquartered in the Antofagasta region of Chile, the plant will be able to recycle 30,000 tonnes of excavator tires per year, which represents nearly 60% of these scrap tires every year across the country.

Work at the site begins this year, with production at the factory scheduled to start in 2023, according to a statement released by Michelin.

Waste tires will be collected directly at the customer's premises and then transported to the factory to be cut and recycled.

Enviro's technology, which produces new, high-quality, reusable materials, including carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas and steel, will allow everything in an end-of-life tire to be reclaimed for reuse, says Michelin.

Current plans call for 90 percent of recovered materials to be reused in a variety of rubber-based products such as tires, conveyor belts and anti-vibration products. The remaining 10% will be reused directly by the plant to generate its own heat and power.

Michelin claims that this initial recycling plant will allow it to offer a comprehensive recycling solution, from collecting end-of-life tires to reusing recovered raw materials in manufacturing new products.

“Thanks to this joint venture with Enviro, we are very proud to announce the construction of the Michelin Group's first recycling plant,” said Sander Vermeulen, vice president of Marketing and Business Development, Strategy and New Business for the business line High Tech Materials . “This is an important milestone that will allow us to offer customers a next generation recycling solution while developing new businesses for the group. We are currently negotiating with several Chilean mining customers to sign long-term contracts. By expanding Enviro's technology, we are offering them a solution that will support their environmental goals and enable them to develop a circular economy. ”

Michelin says the tire recycling plant is fully aligned with its commitment to incorporating more sustainable materials into its tyres.

In 2020, Michelin announced an agreement to acquire a 20 percent stake in I send , based in Sweden , which was formed in 2001. Michelin's investment of US $ 3.25 million marked its second major foray into recycling. In 2018, Michelin acquired Lehigh Technologies, based in the United States, and subsequently invested to take the micronized rubber powder process from waste tires to Europe.

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