Vow ASA announced December 20 that it has teamed up with European Tyre Enterprise Ltd. (ETEL), to deploy Vow’s advanced technology in a complete solution to convert end-of-life tyres to valuable raw material and renewable energy. ETEL has identified a potential demand for more than 300 tyre recycling plants in Europe, North America and Japan.
Murfitts Industries (Murfitts), which is a subsidiary of ETEL and the largest collector and processor of end-of-life tyres in the UK and ETIA, a subsidiary of Vow, have been working together for several years. The parties have developed a full industrial process, in which end-of-life tyres are valorised into a premium recovered carbon black.
ETEL is an international tyre and automotive service, maintenance, and repair group. It is a subsidiary of Itochu, one of Japan’s largest trading companies.
“Together with Murfitts, ETEL and Itochu, we are forming a unique British-French-Japanese-Norwegian partnership. We see a huge opportunity for Vow technology and our combined competence and capacity in a rapidly emerging market. We have agreed to come together to offer a truly sustainable method for handling end-of-life tyres and at the same time decarbonise the tyre industry,” said Henrik Badin, CEO of Vow ASA.
Every year 30 million tonnes of end-of-life tyres are generated globally. As of today, around 30 percent of the tyre composition is virgin carbon black, an important component in tyre manufacturing. Virgin carbon black is produced by cracking fossil oil, a process which generate a large quantity of CO2. Today, all major tyre manufacturers are looking to replace part of the virgin carbon black with recovered carbon black in tyre production.
Pyrolytic oil and syngas, the two other products that are generated in the tyre recovery process are valorised into low carbon fuel or synthetic naphta to generate new low carbon molecules.
“The tyre industry is facing a significant environmental challenge on a global scale, and a great opportunity driven by circular economy incentives. We aim at deploying our solution firstly in Europe, North America, and Japan. Combined these regions represent a market of 8.6 million tons of end-of-life tyre or more than 300 industrial tyre recycling plants,” said Mark Murfitt of Murfitts.
The partnership between Vow and ETEL is defined and agreed in a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU is a continuation of more than two years of successful cooperation and joint operation of a first plant installed at Murfitts’ Lakenheath facility in the UK facility.
According to the MoU the parties will develop a modularised and scalable industrial solution and value chain to turn end-of-life tyres into recovered carbon black and clean energy. Vow will deliver its Biogreen reactor technology to the projects and to the companies that build, own, and operate the plants. ETEL has already identified the first three locations. Applications for building permits for these three sites are well underway.