Michelin has announced the construction of its first tire recycling plant. The facility will be based near Antofagasta in Chile and should be able to recycle around 30,000 tons of tires per year.
For the occasion, Michelin has joined forces with Swedish company Enviro, which has developed patented technology to recover carbon black, oil, steel and gas from used tires. The long-term aim is to recycle each tire entirely at the end of its life.
This first new-generation tire recycling plant should, in theory, make it possible to recycle 100% of a tire thanks to this innovative procedure. Scrap tires will be transported to the plant to be cut up and recycled. According to current plans, 90% of the recovered materials are expected to be reused in a variety of rubber-based products, including other tires. The remaining 10% will be reused to generate heat and power at the plant.
This future tire recycling plant forms part of Michelin's drive to use a maximum of sustainable materials in the manufacturing of its tires. The plant aims to start processing tires from 2023, recycling 30,000 tons of tires a year, or nearly 60% of civil engineering tires scrapped each year in the country. Other plants of the kind are expected to follow.