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Used tyres to be recycled into fuel in Estonia

For the first time in Estonia, there was developed a unit for recycling used automotive tyres, said on August 18.

Though disposal of worn tyres is still a problem for producers and the state as a whole, nobody thought of their recycling because it was a very consuming process: the tyres had to be chopped and released from metal cord. To make it worse, stocking of used tyres is prohibited since July, 2006.

The solution was found by Stanislav Tsoy who has improved a well-known technology of fuel production by pyrolising polymers. He created a unit representing a 4 meter column for the tyres to be charged in. The charged material is sealed and heated up to 400-500оС by the devices set around the periphery of the unit. The hot gas emmissions resulting from decomposition process are  channeled to a second  column where they are  divided: some amount is returned into the first column to maintain its temperature level, and the rest of it proceeds to a third column. There, gas is cooled and, in form of condensate, trickles down.
The unit was tested in Tallin a few days ago to show that produced material has qualities of low sulpher fuel oil.

At the moment, the unit continues to be tested in different modes to find out the best one. Having expected capacity of 0.7 tonnes of fuel a day, the unit will cost about EUR96,000. In future, you will have to pay money to have your tyres recycled. For example, in Finland disposal of 1 tonne of tyres is charged EUR200.

Mr. Tsoy said his fuel will be cheaper than that made of oil or shale. Apart from fuel production, he  plans to construct and sell small-sized recycling units. As he states, such a unit can be used as a boiler generating heat and electricity. 

According to Peeter Eek, Minister of Environment, around  8,000 tonnes of worn  tyres are generated in Estonia every year, and only partially  this amount (2,500 tonnes in 2005) is gathered, while the rest of it keeps polluting the environment.



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