EFG Polymers Takes a New Look at Rubber Recycling
According to EFG Polymers, the materials incorporated in retain almost all of the properties existing when the tyres were manufactured. It is that very retention of properties that creates the challenge to recovery.
The current ELT processes are claimed to universally destroy those valuable properties rather than recover the resources. EFG technologies engineer new elastomeric materials with high value applications and dramatically extend the life of the resources while eliminating waste.
The EFG SBE elastomers also engineer new economics that differ dramatically from historical recycling/repurposing efforts. In the current environment of shortages and supply chain disruption, the EFG SBE family of elastomers provide sustainable margins for EFG and deliver four economic values to EFG customers: 1) value in the “elastomer”, 2) value in the “anti-degradants”, 3) value in the “Carbon Black” and 4) value in “sustainability”.
EFG SBE products deliver good chemical and physical properties, excellent economics, and significant sustainability, along with long term pricing and reliable supply chain benefits.
EFG believes that the first step in redefining rubber waste is to irradicate the myths and confusion of “devulcanisation.”
The global rubber industry has struggled to address partial and fully vulcanised rubber arising from manufacturing processes and from the discarding of vulcanised rubber products including, but not limited to, the huge volume of tyres.
The vulcanisation process involves much more than bonding sulphur and carbon molecules and no known “devulcanisation” technology restores materials to the pre-vulcanisation physical and chemical state.
The EFG sustainability process engineers new materials that retain the many benefits of the vulcanised matrix while restoring the elastomeric properties of the polymer components in a form usable in new products and applications.
The global demand for new polymer materials including SBR, SBS and SEBS is creating a supply crisis, as is the coming shortage of soft Carbon Black (Series 500, 600 and 700). These materials are largely derived from oil and not recovering these valuable resources adds unnecessary burden on our insatiable demand for oil and gas.
Recovering the polymer and the Carbon Black in functional form is very valuable, but vulcanised rubber compounds also contain other valuable resources: process oils, antioxidants, antiozonants and zinc oxide. Many of these ingredients are valuable contributions to new applications that require the elastomeric properties but also benefit from UV protection and reinforcing properties retained in the engineering of the new EFG SBE styrene butadiene family of elastomers.
EFG works with other industry participants in the collective obligation to future generations, to end the EOL/single use mentality and recover and redeploy these valuable resources over and over again to truly achieve sustainability.
Source EFG Polymers