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Recovering carbon black from waste tires

By Gerald Ondrey |

Until now, waste tires have been used mainly for recovering energy. Only small proportions of the carbon black contained in these tires are recycled, since the mineral ash generated by pyrolysis consists of about 20 wt.% of additives used to make the tires. A new process developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP; Valley, Germany; www.ibp.fraunhofer.de) is able to isolate almost all of this ash, allowing both the carbon black and the minerals from the ash to be reused. The process was developed on behalf of RCB Nanotechnologies GmbH (Munich, Germany; www.recovered-carbon-black.com). To purify the carbon-black/ash mixture created during the pyrolysis process, a wet chemical method is used. The (raw) carbon-black/ash mixture, together with various additives and a liquid, are blended in a reactor, and taken through a defined pressure and temperature curve. The parameters and additives are adjusted in such a way that only one particular mineral is selectively extracted from the mixture at a time. This demineralization process produces high-purity, recycled carbon black for use in tires and other rubber products, as well as colorants (masterbatch) for plastic applications, silicates, which can be used in the building…
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