Michelin is to co-ordinate a new recycling project which will promote “a massive circular economy of tyres” by designing world-first processes to produce new tyres from end-of-life tyres (ELTs). The BlackCycle Project covers 5 European countries: France, Spain, Germany, Greece, and Switzerland and includes 7 industrial partners, 5 Research & Technological Organisations (RTOs) and an innovation cluster.
The consortium has designed an effective governance system involving a steering committee, a cluster synergies board, and a technical support committee, and is expected to develop specific solutions to produce sustainable raw materials for tyres. These include ELT collection and feedstock selection, pyrolysis optimisation, oil refining and valorisation, furnace process optimisation, and sustainable tyre performance assessment(s).
The Blackcycle Project is aimed at creating, developing, and optimising a full value chain from ELT feedstock to Secondary Raw Materials (SRMs), with no waste of resources in any part of the chain and a specific attention for the environmental impact. The SRMs will then be used to develop new ranges of passenger car and truck tyres, to be sold commercially in European and global markets.
The project benefits from an overall budget of about US$ 18.9 million with an allocated European funding of about US$ 14.2 million (75% of project costs); about 35% of the project funding is allocated to SMEs, 15% to RTOs and 34% corresponds to the personnel costs.