Michelin has announced it is to co-ordinate a new tyre recycling project, which will unite 7 industrial partners, 5 Research & Technological Organizations (RTOs) and an innovation cluster into a European consortium in 5 countries. The BlackCycle, which was officially launched on Thursday 3 September, aims to enable a massive circular economy of tyres by designing world-first processes to produce new tyres from end-of-life tyres (ELTs).
13-Strong Consortium to Create Circular Econmy for ELTs
Officially funded by the EU in May 2020, the BlackCycle project involves 13 organisations in a unique European public-private partnership that will demonstrate the technical, environmental, and economic viability of world-first circular processes. The consortium will develop specific solutions to produce sustainable raw materials for tyres: ELT collection and feedstock selection, pyrolysis optimisation, oil refining and valorisation, furnace process optimisation, and sustainable tyre performance assessment. As early as 5-6 years after the project, it is anticipated that close to one out of every two European ELTs will be incorporated into the only virtuous cycle of this magnitude amongst all industrial sectors for the recovery of end of life products.
The project aims at creating, developing, and optimising a full value chain from ELT feedstock to Secondary Raw Materials (SRMs), with no waste of resources in any part of the chain and a specific attention for the environmental impact. These SRMs will be used to develop new ranges of passenger car and truck tyres, which will be sold commercially in European and global markets.
Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, BlackCycle benefits from an overall budget of about 16 M€ with an allocated European funding of about 12M€ (75% of project costs, see Fig. 1). About 35% of the project funding is allocated to SMEs, 15% to RTOs and 34% corresponds to the personnel costs. The consortium covers 5 European countries: France, Spain, Germany, Greece, and Switzerland and includes 7 industrial partners, 5 RTOs and an innovation cluster. Coordinated by Michelin, the consortium has designed an effective governance system involving a steering committee, a cluster synergies board, and a technical support committee.