Michelin and Enviro Systems Partner To Commercialize Pyrolysis Technology

Michelin is collaborating with Scandinavian Environ Systems (Enviro) to increase end-of-life tire recycling using Enviro’s pyrolysis process which converts scrap tires to new raw materials.

Enviro has developed a processing method that modifies the chemical composition and physical properties of the tires during the pyrolysis process and extracts recovered carbon black, pyrolysis oil, steel or gas. These new, quality materials can be used in the production of new industrial and commercial products.

Carbon black is a central component in manufacturing tires and rubber products. The oil and steel can also be reused, Enviro said.

Under the new partnership, Enviro and Michelin will work to further refine and deploy the pyrolysis technology on a larger scale. It will include Michelin taking a 20 percent stake in Enviro, making the French tire maker Enviro’s largest shareholder.

Michelin and Enviro

“By further developing our technology we will also be able to recycle other finite and strategic materials, as well as expand the use for the recovered carbon black, so it can be used for more products,” Thomas Sorensson, CEO of Enviro Systems said.

Michelin said the partnership will allow the two companies to pool their complementary know how and further accelerate progress in tire recycling.

The partnership also includes a joint project to build a recycling plant that will use Enviro’s technology to process and recycle tires. According to the companies, the plant will be owned by Michelin and Enviro jointly, but the final terms and conditions regarding ownership shares, commercial conditions and financing remain to be negotiated, the companies said.

Michelin will bring its industrial experience to the plant’s construction project as well as knowledge in R&D and production. Enviro will bring its patented pyrolysis technology which will produce high quality end products.

For its part, Enviro said ownership of the plant is key because it provides opportunity to share in the revenue streams that this generates. Through part-ownership, the company can also ensure quality, and continued product development. Part of the proceeds that the company receives from the share issue will be invested in the plant, Enviro said.

“We’ve refined our method and enhanced the degree of recycling of the component materials. We’ve also improved the revenue potential,” Sorenssen said. Being a partner in the recycling plants is a central part of Enviro’s strategy, he said.
For the past several years, Enviro has been a supplier of recycled carbon black for use in the production of rubber items for the automotive industry, with Volvo cars being one of the users, Enviro said.

The company also reports that a life cycle analysis conducted by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute found that production of rubber with recovered carbon black produced using Enviro’s pyrolysis process leads to 79-84 percent lower greenhouses gas emissions, compared with rubber produced using virgin carbon black.

Commenting on the new partnership, Michelin’s Technology Materials Business Director Sonia Artinian-Fredou said the partnership with Enviro fits perfectly with the tire maker’s “All Sustainable Vision”. Together with Michelin’s earlier acquisition of Lehigh Technologies, an Atlanta, Georgia-based producer of micronized recycled rubber powders, the partnership with Enviro is further proof of Michelin’s long-term commitment to recycling and sustainable mobility, she said.

Discussions are ongoing between the companies to finalize the agreement by mid 2020.

© Scrap Tire News, May 2020