Hangzhou, China – China’s number 1 tire maker Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd. (ZC Rubber) is stepping up its sustainability efforts with plans to build a new “liquid recycled rubber” production line.
The tire maker’s fully-owned subsidiary Zhongce Recycling Technologies is currently building a processing line to produce 7.5 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of the material.
Liquid recycled rubber, said ZC in a 14 Sept statement, can replace “more than 98% of the pollutant-prone processing aids”, significantly improving tire compound quality and increasing tire life.
The production line will be built at the site of Zhongce Recycling Technologies’ existing site in Jiande City, Hangzhou, which was built in partnership with Nanjing Lvjinren Rubber & Plastic High-Tech Co. in 2020.
The site, with the capacity to produce 20ktpa of reclaimed rubber, has been described as “the world’s first automatic reclaimed rubber production line.”
The facility, according to ZC Rubber, employs ‘cutting-edge machinery’ to process scrap tires with “no wastewater and no emissions” while reducing energy consumption per tonne by more than 20% compared to conventional methods.
Furthermore, through a partnership with Zhejiang University, ZC Rubber is developing a waste tire pyrolysis technology to recover carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas, or steel from end-of-life tires.
ZC Rubber said it aims to establish a tire pyrolysis processing line with a 5ktpa capacity by the end of the year.
“ZC Rubber is developing innovative solutions today to address economic, environmental, and social development challenges.
“To encourage a more sustainable future, we are making considerable investments in recycling technologies and smart production,” said the tire maker.
ZC said it has recycled 400,000 tonnes of end-of-life tires (1.7 million pieces of tires) over the past 17 years, cutting carbon emissions by a total of 510,000 tonnes – the equivalent of planting 27.87 million trees.