Oslo-based Wastefront AS says its first tire recycling plant will be located in the United Kingdom and that it is currently assessing sites while planning to start construction in the near future.
The Norwegian firm also announced Maria Moræus Hanssen, former deputy CEO and chief operating officer at oil and gas company, Wintershall DEA, as its chairperson of the board.
Wastefront says its plant will be able to convert scrap tires into liquid hydrocarbons and carbon black, which can then used in processes such as alternative fuel or ground rubber for manufacturing. It says it will use “a combination of proven technology and proprietary processes.”
Wastefront, which was founded in 2019 by its CEO Inge Berge, its Chief Strategy Officer Christian Armand Hvamstad and its Chief Financial Officer Vegard Bringsjord, says it also has received funding from the Norwegian state-owned company and national development bank, Innovation Norway.
New board chair Hanssen says, “I’m excited to join Wastefront and help address the global issue of unsustainable tire waste. An important element in bringing about circular economies and sustainable waste handling is to handle waste locally. The U.K. is a global center of industry, which makes it an ideal location for our first plant. The plan is to then expand across Europe as the technical solution and business concept continuously evolves.”
Wastefront says it uses a pyrolysis process to break down tires at elevated temperatures. By sending tires through reactors with a catalyst, a combustible gas is produced, in addition to a liquid hydrocarbon, carbon black and heat. The gas is circled back in to fuel the furnace. The liquid hydrocarbon undergoes a refining process as a means of improving the quality and performance. The carbon black is washed and milled to upgrade the chemical properties, and can be used as a complement to natural rubber in the tire production, mechanical rubber goods or as a filler for plastics. The heat is repurposed locally within industry or to heat residential homes.