Kal Tire almost ready to switch on Chilean OTR tyre processing plant
Kal Tire Chile has announced that construction work on its new thermal conversion facility on the La Negra Industrial Estate in Antofagasta is now almost complete and should be ready to commence operations by July 2020.
According to the General Manager of Kal Tire Chile, Carlos Zuñiga Fuentes, who allowed Tyre and Rubber Recycling to view the plant during its construction phase. The new plant, built on a 20,000 sq metre site, will have the capacity to process 20 tonnes of scrap mining tyres per day, as well as the space to store 1,000 of the 57” and 63” tyres, which will be thermally converted into carbon black, steel, oil and gas.
The facility, currently in the first of three construction phases, will initially operate with two reactors, each 6.2 metres long and 3.5 m in diameter, although once complete the facility will have a total of six reactors. These operate on a 14-16 process and will work on alternate days (i.e. one day on, one day off).
After the tyres have been checked-in at the site’s weighing station, the tyres are then processed by the company’s two Italian manufactured Bonetto cutting machines. The tyres are first cut into 12 pieces by the primary cutter and then reduced further into 80-100 kilo pieces.
Once in the reactor, the tyres are heated with LPG, but then after 6 hours the LPG is switched off, and the heating continues with the gas generated from the tyres, to produce carbon black, oil and steel. The site has the capacity for 75,000 litres of oil and also houses a facility to clean it.
Being located in the Atacama Desert, 45 minutes from the nearest fire station, the plant also has an extensive fire control system, including the capacity to store 300,000 litres of water.