||January 1, 2008
The U.S. generates about 300 million scrap tires per year, about one per capita. Most of these are used as tire-derived fuel, giving them a low value close to the value of coal. While TDF addresses the tire disposal issue, it does not maximize the intrinsic value tire materials, specifically the individual components originally used to make tire rubber compounds. One step closer to recovering the value of the compounds is the use of recovered black reinforcing agent made from scrap tires. This paper describes a means of deriving more value from discarded tires than can be provided by use as TDF. It discusses the successful performance of recovered black reinforcing agent, Phoenix Black E900, recovered from used tires. This product is recovered via a commercial process that depolymerizes polymers and breaks down organics, separating them from the black solids. The paper describes the test results of compounds made with recovered black reinforcing agent in comparison with virgin carbon black controls in various polymers utilizing several cure systems. The results from tests to date positively point to the significant potential this technology has for recovering greater value from discarded tires than is currently being realized.