For the tyre industry, recycling end-of-life tyres is a significant task. Every year, about a billion tyres reach the end of their usable lives. Recycling is a multifaceted process that involves gathering end-of-life tyres, sorting them, and finding new uses.
ZC Rubber is China’s first tyre company to start recycling, reusing, and repurposing. The company began its tyre recycling journey in 2005 when it first built its Recycling Technology and Service Center to carry out rubber recycling and reuse. In 2009, ZC Rubber formally established Zhongce Recycling Technology Co., Ltd to take tyre sustainability to new heights.
For years, ZC Rubber has been in active collaboration with domestic and international research institutions to develop a more sustainable tyre supply chain that minimises the environmental impact of tyres throughout their lifespan. It has currently built a holistic recycling industrial value chain covering tyre recycling, sorting, retreading, pyrolysis, etc.
During the past 17 years, ZC Rubber has recycled 400,000 tons of end-of-life tyres (1.7 million pieces of tyres), cutting carbon emissions by a total of 510,000 tons – the equivalent of planting 27.87 million trees.
Annual production capacity of 20,000 tons of reclaimed rubber
In collaboration with Nanjing Lvjinren Rubber & Plastic High-tech Co, ZC Rubber has built the world’s first automatic reclaimed rubber production line with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons of reclaimed rubber in 2020.
Zhongce Recycling Technology prepared reclaimed rubber with no waste water and no emissions thanks to cutting-edge machinery and an internationally recognised process. Additionally, the energy consumption per ton is reduced by more than 20% as compared to the conventional method.
In 2022, Zhongce Recycling Technology will build a production line that produces 7,500 tons of liquid recycled rubber annually. Liquid recycled rubber can replace more than 98% of the pollutant-prone processing aids, significantly improving tyre compound quality and increasing tyre life.
Circular recycling supply chain
Through the partnership with Zhejiang University, ZC Rubber is developing a circular recycling supply chain to convert end-of-life tyres into high-quality raw materials such as carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas, or steel.
Within Zhongce Recycling Technology, pyrolysis oil can be used as a fuel oil for manufacturing carbon black production. After thorough processing, pyrolysis carbon black can also be utilised in place of regular carbon black, and pyrolysis gas can produce electricity. All rubber-based products can be recycled internally and form a recycling ecology.
In 2022, ZC Rubber will establish the tyre pyrolysis processing line with a 5,000-ton annual capacity.
“ZC Rubber is developing innovative solutions to address economic, environmental, and social development challenges. To encourage a more sustainable future, we are making considerable investments in recycling technologies and smart production.” said ZC Rubber.
With the aim for carbon neutrality in manufacturing and to continue reducing its environmental impact, ZC Rubber will keep pushing forward sustainability in the years to come.