Finland to get a new tyre recycling plant
Finnish Tyre Recycler Chooses Eldan
Suomen Rengaskierrätys has started construction of a new tyre recycling plant in Lopella, Finland.
“We’ve been thinking in the industry that a tire is too great a product for simple construction use, even though it works well in it. We are now building a plant that can separate up to 99.99% of all rubber material from the tyre into a secondary raw material for the rubber industry,” says Risto Tuominen, CEO of Suomen Rengaskierrätys Oy.
The Danish company Eldan Recycling offers equipment that creates near pure rubber, steel, and tyre fibres separately. The rubber is cut and ground to the desired piece sizes.
The plant will be able to handle 20,000 tons of tyres over two shifts, but if there is demand for the products, capacity can be increased to 30,000 tons by introducing a third shift. The plant will employ a dozen or more people directly and indirectly through tyre collection and handling logistics.
Suomen Tengaskierrätys has already negotiated with both domestic and foreign rubber industry players. There is a growing demand for materials, although Tuominen says it is still very difficult to compete with virgin material.
“Decision-makers insist that it should be recycled, but legislation makes marketing more difficult. Recycled products are not even close to competing with virgin products,” he adds.
Tuominen hopes that more criteria will be introduced in public procurement, which would require and favour the use of recycled raw materials. This would increase the demand for recycled rubber.
“When the tyre material is currently on the market for construction use, for example, the price is close to zero. On the other hand, the prices of the secondary raw material for rubber products are already talking about hundreds of euros per tonne,” Tuominen estimates.
The production and sale of recycled material with a higher degree of recycling would also make it possible to reduce the producer responsibility fees for tyres.
In the new plant, the steel in the rubber will be obtained as a raw material for the metal industry through separation.
The tyres also contain polymeric and structural fibres such as aramid. Of the approximately 20,000 tonnes of tyres handled at the plant, approximately two thousand tonnes of fibre will be separated. Initially, the fibre will be used for energy, but according to Tuominen, the material recycling of the fibres is already being studied.
The fibres could be suitable, for example, for insulation mats or other textile fibre products.
The goal is for the plant to be put into production in Lopella in early 2023. The total budget of the recycling plant is EUR 17 million.