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Saving The Environment, One Rubber Tyre At A Time

The time is just about right to focus on the planet and the people, just as much as the profit. Earlier would have been better, but any later, and there may not be much of a planet to save.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


We are one to say that as the number of cars go up, we continue to have a chance of working on positively impacting the environment, it would sound atrocious, maybe even funny. This would be not least because the auto industry is in the doldrums, which as Rahul and Rajiv Bajaj elucidated so eloquently, it is. Not also because at 60,000 kilometres, tyres go redundant, and have to be replaced. But because these tyres are built to be highly durable, are built of non-biodegradable material and therefore consume valuable space in Indian landfills.

Interesting enough is also the fact that India’s waste tyres account for 6% of the total global quantity of approximately 1.5 billion. With the local tyre industry expected to grow at 7-9% per annum for the next 5 years, waste volumes are constantly rising. Something else that not too many know is the fact that several countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia import thousands of tons of used tyres to India every year. While the recent plastic porn, images and videos of plastic being horrifically dumped into oceans, is bad enough and has found several viewers, no better are the images of tyres burning across the nation, for the purposes of fuel.

At such a stage, something that may well help reduce this environmental burden is a process that has oft been vilified, but if executed to perfection, may well turn into a sustainable disposal solution – pyrolysis.

Some of the key features of this process that may well help make a dent in pollution and augment the CPCB’s ardent efforts in the space are:

  1. 90% waste tyre recycling is achieved, leaving no churn after the process

  2. no chemicals are used in the process, therefore making it extremely environment friendly 

  3. before, during and after the process, no soil, air or water pollution is observed

  4. pyrolysis oil is a by-product of an up-cycling process. Thus, ensuring that your inputs are not created from the polluting processes, but is rather up-cycled into environmentally conscious fuel

  5. with recycling over a 1000 tons of steel wire annually, we reduce the negative impact of steel excavation and processing, steel that is found in tyres

Advantages of the process, while many, include:

  1. Tyre-derived fuels (TFDs) have demand as only end-market as fuels for power cement kilns, paper mills and utility boilers.  

  2. High-grade char that can replace carbon blacks, a vital ingredient in rubber products. The global demand for carbon black will grow to almost 5% annually, according to a Freedonia report.  

  3. Tyres contain steel wires and the amount range of 10% to 15% of the total tyre wastage. Valuable steel wires are pressed and sold to steel and scrap dealers. 

  4. Non-Condensable gases arise during the pyrolysis process used as fuel.

There has been enough talk in the recent past about pollution and how the global populace seems to be living on this planet as if there is another one to go to. Honestly speaking, the time is just about right to focus on the planet and the people, just as much as the profit. Earlier would have been better, but any later, and there may not be much of a planet to save.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Sunali Kothari

The author is Founder of the National Tyre Pyrolysis Corporation

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