The 27th ETRA Conference on Tyre Recycling was held Monday through Wednesday, 30 May – 1 June 2022 at Le Louise Hotel in Brussels. Despite many events related to recycling, tyre and rubber took place in May, some of them overlapping, there were 122 registered participants from 28 countries worldwide.
The Conference was finally back after two years adjournment owing to covid-19 and was a fully in person event. The Venue has been enjoyable and widely appreciated by all the participants.
The conference theme, New Market Partnerhips after 2020 : Overcoming the Obstacles, included some of the extraordinary progress that has been made in the tyre recycling industries and highlight its exciting role in future as part of the Circular Economy.
All panels were quite interesting as they were on very current topics, such as, among the others:
- OTR issue and InReGEO Project
The scope of InReGEO project is to demonstrate the feasibility of OTR recycling, to obtain recycled natural rubber partially devulcanised to be used again in the production of treads for retreading of OTRs.
The project address and offer a response to the following issues:
- Waste Reduction
- Recycling of an untreated waste : Off The Road (OTR) Tyres
- Ensure the supply of sustainable raw materials, in particular of critical raw materials
- Production of a raw material able to support the circular design and strengthening Extended Producer Responsibility
- Contribution to decrease the carbon footprint of tyre industry
- EU support to expand the Market – RE-PLAN CITY LIFE Project
RE-PLAN CITY LIFE is a new ETRA project funded by the EU which started 1st January 2022, aiming to raise awareness among technicians of P.A., stakeholders, policymakers on the use of Recycled Tyre Materials (RTMs) in Transport Infrastructures, Buildings, Sports Facilities and Urban Areas.
Through the project it will be possible to :
- Have access to the tools developed (Circular Economy Enablers, GPP Guidelines)
- Expand the use of RTMs in your territory.
Artificial Turf is the most prominent market for recycled rubber. Over the past two years it has been under pressure owing to incertitude caused by ECHA consultation on intentionally added microplastics
Recycled rubber granulate used in artificial turf as infill materials should be classified as microplastics. After three years of discussion it was made the point on where we are now.
- Pyrolysis Developments
PYROLYSIS : THE STEPS AHEAD was the title of the Pyrolysis Session. After more than 100 Years of Development (1920 – 2020) Pyrolysis today have been able to develop high quality materials which can be reintroduced into new tyres production, implementing a true Circular Economy. The most successful worldwide projects were illustrated
- Devulcanisation, Waterjetting, and other material valorization
Much progress has been made over the years to return the rubber to its original condition prior to vulcanization. Devulcanisation, Waterjetting, Compounding, Moulding, are just some options focused to obtain materials and products for Vehicles and Rubber Industry. Various technologies and materials have been developed and improvements are still ongoing, involving both tyre recyclers and tyre manufacturers.
- Concrete and Cementitious Materials, pre-casted elements
After water, concrete is the most widely consumed substance on earth and represent an important potential outlet for Recycled Tyre Materials (RTMs). Some possible uses have been investigated in the Green Dealles Project.
The aim of this project is to create a prototype of a new predalles slab used to cast partially precast floors of civil and industrial buildings.
In this slab, herein called “GreenDealles”, a part of the traditional virgin components of concrete and reinforcing bars will be substituted by steel fibres from end-of-life tires.
The project is addressed to:
- Construction Companies
- Architects & Engineers
- Concrete producers
Tyre recycling along the years has become more and more innovative and sophisticated. The materials obtained from recycling have been up-cycled or combined in sophisticated uses and application, making hardly possible to recognize them.
An interesting research in building and construction sector went beyond the simple substitution of sands and aggregates by rubber powder and granulate, which anyway have shown good results.
The use of “Alkali-Activated” cement in replacement of “Ordinary Portland Cement” as binder disclosed the possibility to increase sustainability of construction materials.
A further logical improvement has been to use this alkali-activated cement also known as geo-polymers in combination with Recycled Tyre Materials (RTMs) to develop new mix design with improved specific characteristics such as rheological, thermal, acoustic, and damping ones.