Mining Tire Recycling Technology Overview


Scott Farnham, Kal Tire

Recycling of scrap tires from passenger car & light trucks has been an established industry since the 1990s. Technology able to handle mining tires however, up to 4m diameter has been absent.  For decades, mines have stockpiled literally mountains of scrap tires. The biggest danger with tire storage is fire. Scrap tire fires have been the result of lightning strikes, arson, errant welding activities and brush fires encroaching into the stockpile.  Although tires are difficult to ignite, once they start they are difficult to extinguish. When ignited, tires develop intense heat, thick black smoke and toxic fumes.  Scrap tire stockpile fires have been the catalyst for governments to develop and introduce legislation aimed at reduction, reuse, renewal and the responsible recycling of tires. Trends are developing in some mining jurisdictions towards legislated disposal of mining tires. The long held practices of stockpiling and subsequent burying of mining tires may soon be over.  New Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation has been formalized in Chile and will start in 2021. Colombia and Peru are set to introduce their own programs.  Ontario and BC have or are looking into putting a levy on scrap mining tires. Australia and South Africa are reviewing similar action. There are two leading technologies developed to both eliminate the risks described earlier as well as to recover valuable materials from scrap tires.  One technology is called Thermal Conversion. When heated in the absence of air, scrap tires produce oils, carbon black and steel.  From an environmental standpoint, this is exceptionally lean carbon footprint and produces valuable co-products. The first Kal Tire Thermal Conversion mining tire recycling plant is slated for Q2 2019 in Chile. A 2nd solution is shredding the tires into rubber granulate and powder. The Kal Tire shredding plant in Alberta has operated since 2016. Many items can be made from this material.
Mots Clés: mining tire recycling, legislation, environmental, sustainable, waste reduction, pyrolysis, thermal conversion, shredding, crumb rubber