Here’s a cool green way to upcycle millions of old tires

Good News Notes:

If you’ve ever seen a tire graveyard piled high with trashed rubber, you can easily understand that Israeli company EcoTech Recycling has a green gem of an idea.

EcoTech’s nontoxic process produces a unique material, Active Rubber (AR), from end-of-life tires. With1.6 billion tires manufactured annually, and 290 million tires discarded each year in the United States alone, tires are the world’s largest source of waste rubber.

“Rubber is a valuable commodity, and we are making it reusable,” says CEO and President Gideon Drori.

“AR is a substitute for synthetic rubber that can be used to make new tires, automotive parts or an inner wall and flooring insulation called ECOINSUL that we developed ourselves.”

ECOINSUL, Drori says, “is literally a new standard that outperforms the current standard 10-fold. There’s almost no difference in price and it’s easy to handle and apply. It does very effective acoustic and thermal insulation. And it’s all made out of waste.”

With 21 worldwide patents issued, EcoTech finished testing and scaling in early 2020 and signed a strategic partnership with Austria-based Sibur International, one of the largest synthetic rubber manufacturers.

“Sibur has brought us a lucrative contract in the Austrian market and may set up its own factories using our technology,” says Drori, noting that Europe has over 4.5 million tons of tire waste annually.

“We are in discussions with a large chemical manufacturer in Italy and we’ve been asked to set up factories in the UAE. We’ve also been approached by Russia, China and Australia. And we hope to set up another facility in an OECD country.”

Headquartered in Petah Tikva, EcoTech is raising capital and converting its R&D site in Acre (Akko) into a factory to fill orders.

Tires roll into the circular economy

According to National Geographic, today’s tires consist of about 19 percent natural rubber and 24% synthetic rubber. Making an average car tire requires about 7 gallons of oil, while truck tires take 22 gallons.

Drori tells ISRAEL21c that the EcoTech patented technology uses 95% less energy than traditional rubber production processes.

“With increased oil prices and toxic contamination, the rubber industry is critical when it comes to reducing environmental pollution,” he says.

“AR is produced without hazardous oils, chemicals or new resources. It’s such a clean process that for every ton of AR we produce we get 6 tons of carbon credit. The idea of the circular economy is completely coming to life and in a manner far better than putting waste rubber back on the market.”

It seems this technology arrived in the right place at the right time.

The European Union’s new microplastic directive bans rubber powder with additives as well as crumb rubber, a playground surfacing material made from shredded tires, because it has been found to contaminate soil and is a suspected carcinogen…..”

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