Technology

Nov 1, 2017

TIRES NEVER TIRED

Every year Finland produces more than 50,000 tons of bald tires. Sounds a lot? What if you try to make the exercise to calculate the total, only in Europe? Now, I am pretty sure it sounds like a horror movie.

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By ROBERT BROWN

After upgrading an old method, the Finnish company Ecomation is about to open a tire recycling facility in the town of Nokia, headquarter of the Nokian Tyres giant manufacturer. The company's plan is to use the method of pyrolysis for processing up to 8,000 waste tires per year, virtually no emissions at all.

Through the method of pyrolysis, which involves heating materials at high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment, used car and truck tires will effectively become oil that can later be used for heating, or refined into diesel or petrol.

The high heat breaks the tires down into individual components, such as oil, carbon, gases and steel, facilitating their extraction for subsequent re-use. Earlier attempts of the method have been made in Finland, but were not successful on a large scale.

According to the company, this is a unique concept that will reduce resource-poor Finland's demand for imported fuels. Ecomation's CEO Tommi Pajala adds "ours is the first pyrolysis plant in Finland that extracts oil from tires on an industrial scale and, our Nokia facility is the most modern and safest of its kind in the world", admitting that the sophisticated technology took eight years to develop.

Contending that the concept will be an export product in the future, the method is already drawing attention abroad, with many countries interested in generating clean energy from waste.

Currently, Finland already recycles most of the 50,000 tons of waste tires. Some of them are retreaded and used again, but most are recycled into other materials or simply incinerated. Tires that get recycled are used as a whole, chopped, or ground up and used in the manufacture of various road asphalt products. Waste tires are also used in products like artificial grass on football pitches and playground surfaces.

Ecomation's know-how

Ecomation process lines are capable of processing all types of scrap: from industrial waste such as circuit boards and cables, household appliances, computers, telecommunications equipment onto all electrical waste.

The company manufactures and supplies a wide range of heavy-duty machinery available for various types of recycling, separation, re-utilization or recovering industries.

Some of the manufactured equipment is also suited to other industrial sectors. These include crushers, conveyors, drum screens and other screens, dust extraction systems, and industrial automation systems.

Dust control system is an essential element in the scrap processing lines. Therefore, the company's portfolio includes odor elimination equipment which can be used for many purposes, for instance disinfection of any microbes in all kind of scrap. The solution is based on the latest air ionization technology.

In addition, Ecomation also provides all kind of planning and counselling services for companies in the recycling sector, as well as installation and maintenance services for the modernization of crushing and recycling equipment and systems, in order to improve their efficiency and sustainability.

Contacts * www.ecomation.com * Salorankatu 6 * FI-24240 SALO * Tel. +358 400 785 058 * Fax +358 2 733 33 55

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