Bicycle tyre recycling

Bicycle tyre recycling

In contrast to car & truck tyres, worn-out bicycle tyres are almost exclusively disposed of in residual waste and most of them are sent for thermal recycling, which leads to a steadily increasing and irreversible loss of raw materials. Together with Schwalbe and the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences), Pyrum Innovations AG is researching a sustainable solution to this problem with the aim of developing a raw material recycling concept for used bicycle tyres in the sense of a closed-loop economy.

In the course of this project, the new "Schwalbe Recycling System" has already been developed, in which, in addition to production waste, discarded tyres are fed directly from the end user to the pyrolysis process with the help of a collection system - designed by Schwalbe - after being shredded. The resulting gas is used to generate electricity so that the entire process is energy self-sufficient. The pyrolysis oil serves as a substitute for crude oil in the chemical industry. The recovered carbon, so-called recovered carbon black (rCB), flows back into the manufacturing process of bicycle tyres.

Here, TH Köln is investigating the incorporation of rCB into rubber compounds for bicycle inner tubes. The prototypes produced in this way are then examined by Schwalbe with regard to their product properties.

The Pyrum Innovations AG team is focusing on developing the optimum process parameters for the pyrolytic recycling of bicycle tyres. Our goal is to provide high-quality products for the best possible use in bicycle tyre production.

Project details

Project start: May 2021

Project duration: 2 years

Project funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI): The Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM)

Funding code: KK5109701CM0


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