Green Distillation Technologies, an Australian company which was awarded a bronze medal two years ago in the Edison Awards, rated as the world’s top prize for innovation believes that it can turn aircraft tyres into bio fuel.
The GDT technology is called destructive distillation and can recycle old aircraft tyres into oil, carbon and the steel wire cord.
Most commercial aircraft tyres are managed for the airline by an external supplier which provides changes after so many landings and take-offs and then either has them re-treaded for further use, crumbed for playgrounds and sporting fields or used as furnace fuel.
Aircraft tyres only contain a small quantity of steel reinforcing, so the GDT recycling process will mostly produce oil and carbon, with the oil being a light low sulphur crude that can easily be refined into bio jet fuel.
There is no shortage of raw material as there are plenty of old commercial aircraft tyres available as they need replacing after six months or 300 landings with a Boeing 777 having 14 tyres, an A380, 22 and an AN225, a whopping 32 tyres, not to say the thousands of old tyres discarded by general aviation and recreational flyers.
Green Distillation Technologies Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley, who holds a commercial pilot’s licence and has a background in the air freight industry, agreed that recycling end of life aviation tyres into bio jet fuel sounded like the ultimate in the circular economy, but was a very practical solution to a world-wide problem.