ESTATO: actions and progress made in first year of BlackCycle

ESTATO Umweltservice GmbH is one industrial partner with long-term experiences in ELT recycling and as part of the H2020-Project BlackCycle involved in different workpackages but leader of workpackage 4 „Tyre selection“. Main goal of this WP is to ensure delivery of the right (defined) material specification at the right time and quantity when needed. The technical activities are divided into a total of 8 work tasks with 12 documents or work products to be delivered during the term and a milestone at the end of the project (« Validation of tire granulation process »). So a series of meetings / calls had been held with the concerned partners with focus on the need of the pyrolysis partners. Based on these meetings, specific rubber quality, quantity, material size and delivery date have been concatenated in a material supply planning (tool). Granulate sizes for the different test have been defined with the relevant Partner’s approbation

Pre-selection of volumes of passenger car (existing stream ESTATO) and truck tyre ELT was realised. Totally 4 Rubber Qualities were defined as relevant: whole truck tire, whole passenger car tire and access to specific rubber like truck tire tread & passenger car tire tread. Finally the goal was a provision of raw materials (= 2 rubber granulate material sizes) out of sampling production of ESTATO granulation: Rubber Granulate 1-4 mm and Chips / rubber crumb in the range of 10-25 mm. Based on these specifications different shredding tests of the raw materials were done from August 2020 to January 2021 with the delivery of the following material samples to project partners for individual tests:

  • 3 Full truck loads of truck tire chips to Greenval Technologies (05.08.20 + 24.08.20 + 05.10.20, approx. 70 tons)
  • Rubber granulate to Pyrum Innovations: 60 KG of truck tire treads, 40 KG of passenger car treads, 60 KG of all typres of passenger car tires
  • Rubber granulate to ICB: 150 KG of passenger car tread (July 2020)

For every sample production there was prepared a retention sample of minimum 200 KG.

With all of the collected results from the first tests during the first months of BlackCycle the deliverables 4.1 & 4.2 “Rubber granulate target composition & supply report” were developed and submitted in time (end of July 2020). And also working / data collection on “Report for granulates supply for pyrolysis TRL 7” (D4.3) was started.

Furthermore referring to another task the elementary technology diagnosis, comparison and selection for tyre deconstruction has been started together with Michelin and several scenario have been elaborated. Due to the current Health Crisis / Corona safety measures and lockdown situations (France, Germany), business trips are severely restricted, limiting the ability to evaluate correctly potential technologies for tyre’s deconstruction. These difficulties for technical implementations lead to a need of action plan modification of the project with the postponement of the next deliverable “Report on selection and deconstruction process diagnosis, comparison and selection of four months (delivered on M13 instead of M9).  Consequently all following deliverable of the WP based on the final report have also to be shifted by this period that would mean a necessary prolongation of the total project to 40 months.

But finally the determination of the deconstruction state of the art and industry best practice were done in the first year of the project with many deconstruction tests. In general 5 deconstruction technologies could be pre-selected (3 for tread recovering, 3 for innerliner recovering, 1 common :

  • Tearing the tread off
  • Cutting the tread off
  • Splitting the tread or inner liner
  • Water jet milling of the innerliner
  • Buffing the innerliner

Not all the technologies are good for PCT and TT so the evaluation is still in progress for technical accessibility and machine cost & rentability.

Final selection for one or more of these technologies is expected at the end of May 2021.

For the second newsletter of the project, ESTATO has prepared a text contribution for the Focus on Partner section in February 2021 with a lot of information and descriptions about the company, the processes and the current status and future expectations about BlackCycle. All the WP monitoring tools have been updated regularly with data and were used to follow up the action and deliverables submission. Inputs for the first internal progress report was delivered and the risk register was filled (also to show on the implementation of counter-measures) and specified potential impacts on the project.

It is not necessary to mention that ESTATO Umweltservcie GmbH also participated in all scheduled meetings (Steering Committee, Technical Committee, General Assembly) and actively supported all other coordination meetings (e.g. Communication Committee, Risk Management).