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NZ Company innovates tyre recycling technology

There are 5 million end of life tyres per annum in NZ with most going to landfill or exported as waste. Eneform with its partners have found a low emissions environmental solution to recycle up to 1.5 million end of life tyres in the South Island per annum and is working on expansion to take all new end of life tyres in New Zealand which is calculated to be 5 million tyres every year.

Andrew Simcock, Eneform spokesman, explains:

“Eneform has relationships with existing local and national tyre collectors. We already have agreements and partnerships in place with local collectors in the South Island including Tyre Collection Services and Waste Management to accept required volumes of chipped end of life tyres which when processed produces valuable recycled products. One of the major products along with steel, carbon, gas (which largely self-powers the plant) and recoverable heat, is a ‘green’ diesel enabling substitution of traditional low grade fossil fuels currently used in boilers. Eneform will produce its tyre diesel for a large national roading contractor”.

Eneform has taken old pyrolysis technology and innovated it to make it clean as a key driver in design of an integrated, cost effective and environmentally friendly recycling facility. This world leading plant developed by Eneform with the support of partners including Southern Cross Engineering, Petrotec and Hineuru Holdings fits well into New Zealand’s goals of being able to apply technology which offers both viable environmental solutions and future export opportunities.

Craig Philips, CEO of Southern Cross Engineering says:

“Modern pyrolysis based technology is very suitable in that it cleanly deconstructs waste streams via vacuum and heat into energy and material components – this uniquely designed plant based on high tech continuous pyrolysis process, rather than historically low tech labour-intensive batch process, is world leading and demonstrates how Kiwi ingenuity can develop unique clean technological solutions to challenging waste problems, while addressing the health and safety issues that are prevalent in the older pyrolysis plants.“

Although pyrolysis has been around for a long time, it has taken years of experimentation, pilot plant operation and more recently test unit development for Eneform to successfully develop this clean technology ready for commercialisation.

Simcock explains,

“Eneform has successfully developed novel technology to create viable use of the process historically called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis or ‘thermal deconstruction’ is essentially using heat in the absence of oxygen to break down tyres and other previously problematic materials such as plastics into their various components. The result is world leading technology which transforms waste into resources and demonstrates how New Zealand can lead the way in the “circular economy” with work being done currently environmentally certifying the tyre diesel as part of measuring the positive impact on the environment and maximising value of today’s waste through processing tyres and some plastics in this way”.

The first plant has been granted Regional Council Resource Consent. Eneform are negotiating a site lease with Selwyn District Council for an agreed upon area within the Resource Recovery Park. It is anticipated that construction will begin at Rolleston, Canterbury in the new year with the plant operational in 2019 with initial two line capacity able to process the bulk of the South Islands annual end of life tyres (equivalent to about one and a half million passenger tyres per year). The plant will add a third line in 2020 with the opportunity to take a range of plastic waste materials in addition to building a second North Island plant.

This technology enables a viable ongoing solution for the end of life tyre issue in New Zealand and recycle other waste such as plastics. In international markets there is potential to extend the potential use of fuel produced to generate electricity in helping to resolve power as part of the value of recycling waste in this way.

An application has been made under the new government funding program which would accelerate implementation, including supporting Eneform to building a larger North Island plant and processing plastics sooner providing New Zealand with a scale sustainable waste recycling solution.

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