Sunderland to host ‘UK’s greenest’ waste tyre recycling plant

A recycling facility designed to turn old car tyres into chemical materials used in altnernative fuel production and rubber manufacturing is set to begin contruction at the Port of Sunderland next year, after the Norwegian developers inked a deal with Sunderland City Council.

Expected to come online in 2022, the waste tyre recycling plant is set to use a process known as pyrolysis to break down used tyres otherwise destined for landfill, before converting the material into liquid hydrocarbons and carbon black, which can then be used to produce fuel and ground rubber, Wastefront explained.

The recycling specialist said heat generated during the energy-intensive process would also be utilised, with plans to channel the excees energy to nearby homes and industry in the North East.

Announcing the deal with the council today, Wastefront’s director and co-founder Christian Hvamstad hailed the project as a major milestone for the Norwegain state-owned firm. “The construction of our first ever plant with the Port of Sunderland marks a huge step in Wastefront’s efforts to combat the global issue of end-of-life tyres (ELT) waste,” he said. “Our ambition is to create a new circular economy for dealing with waste issues, and a crucial element of sustainable waste handling is to be able to do so locally.”

Wastefront said it would be seeking investment for the project from UK, Nordic and international investors in the first quarter of 2021, having already received funding from Norway’s national development bank Innovation Norway and government agency the Research Council of Norway.

The full-scale plant is expected to break down 180 tonnes of end-of-life tyre (ELT) waste daily, producing 60 tonnes of carbon black, a chemical building block found in tyres, plastics, water filtration, printer ink, cosmetics and toothpaste, according to Wastfront.

It also expects the facility to produce 90 tonnes of liquid hydrocarbons, which can be refined to produce fuels such as ethane, propane, butane, diesel and gasoline used in residential, commercial, industrial, transportation and electric power.

Sunderland’s industrial history, access to feedstock, geographymake it an “ideal location” for the plant, according to the company, which claimed the facility would be the “greenest waste recycling tyre plant in the UK”, utilising a gas purification to remove pollutants and avoiding the release of any by-products into the environment.

Port of Sunderland director Matthew Hunt said the project would also help support ongoing regeneration efforts in the area, creating an estimated 100 local jobs during construction, with 30 permanent staff then required to operate the plant thereafter.

“Port of Sunderland is currently undergoing a major transformation, with over £8m being pumped into improving its roads and infrastructure, and the decision by Wastefront to invest in the port shows just how much confidence this is breeding among our stakeholders and the wider market,” he said.

 


 

By Cecilia Keating

Source: Business Green