Murfitts Industries and ETIA have announced that the two companies intend to form a partnership delivering commercial-scale solutions for the recycling of end-of-life tires to recover their valuable raw material and energy content.
Murfitts Industries, the UK’s leading tyre recycling and reprocessing company, has been working with ETIA for a number of years and the proposed joint venture will build on that strong relationship. ETIA is a French engineering group and part of Vow ASA, an international technology company listed in Norway.
Murfitts has carried out extensive trials with ETIA’s technology and has proven that the process consistently produces a recovered carbon black (rCB) which, according to Murfitts, exceeds the properties of the virgin materials it replaces. Murfitts has tested various formulations to meet a range of exact specifications, with a particular focus on feeding the rCB back into the manufacturing of new tyres, thus completing a circular production process. In addition to the rCB, the process recovers pyrolytic oil and syngas which can be used as low-carbon fuel.
The partnership is backed by Murfitt’s parent company European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL) and ETIA parent Vow ASA. Murfitts collects end-of-life tyres from its ETEL sister companies Kwik Fit and Stapleton’s, as well as other tyre retailers, recovering and processing a total of around 20 million tyres annually. It, therefore, has ready access to the quantities of feedstock required to deliver the UK tyre sector’s first fully-fledged materials recovery solution on a commercial scale.
ETEL is committed to improving sustainability at all stages of the tyre life cycle and has been working closely with tyre manufacturers on a variety of development programmes including Project TREE, an initiative to improve the sustainability of natural rubber production in Indonesia. Its programmes are therefore not limited to the UK, and it anticipates that in partnership with Vow the new process could be operating in a range of international markets in the near future.
Mark Murfitt, managing director of Murfitts Industries, said; “This is a major milestone in delivering commercially viable materials recovery solutions in the tyre sector. Together we can bring together all the elements required, from reliable feedstock, through proven delivery of precise rCB specifications, to strong relationships with manufacturers. We can deliver a clean sustainable process that generates its own energy to recover valuable raw materials and make significant carbon savings compared to virgin sources. With the backing of ETEL and Vow, we believe the new company could be rapidly scaled internationally and make a significant difference in reprocessing end-of-life tyres around the world.”
“Together with Murfitts, ETEL, and Itochu, we are forming a unique British-French-Japanese-Norwegian partnership. We see a huge opportunity for Vow technology and our combined competence and capacity in a rapidly emerging market. We have agreed to come together to offer a truly sustainable method for handling post-consumer tyres and at the same time taking important steps towards decarbonizing the tyre industry,” said Henrik Badin, CEO of Vow ASA.
ITOCHU Corporation, the parent company of Murfitts and ETEL, has the core policy of “enhancing our contribution to, and engagement with, the SDGs through business activities” at the heart of its Medium-term Management Plan “Brand-new Deal 2023”. Through the commercialization of recycling end-of-life tyres to deliver rCB in partnership with the VOW Group, ITOCHU aims to make a major contribution to the realization of a circular society.