Schwalbe receives series supply of rCB from Pyrum and uses it to produce new tires
The circle is closed, a major (interim) goal achieved: Schwalbe receives series deliveries of recycled carbon black (rCB) from Pyrum Innovations AG, producing the first new series tire. The rCB comes from the recycling of used tires, which Schwalbe collects from specialist dealers throughout Germany with the Schwalbe Recycling System.
The used tires are collected via the dealer network in specially made recycling boxes, picked up and transported to recycling partner Pyrum in Dillingen, Saarland. There, the pioneering company in the field of tire recycling with its pyrolysis plant takes over the mechanical processing as well as the recycling of the used tires. The process produces no waste whatsoever. Previously, bicycle tires were incinerated and the raw materials were lost. The holistic recycling process saves 80% CO2.
Production of the first bicycle tire to use rCB entirely instead of industrial carbon black is in full swing. The tire will be unveiled in June and then available in stores.
Schwalbe is the world’s first and so far only manufacturer that not only takes back used tires but also uses them to produce new tires. Success has been achieved through a long-standing cooperation and research partnership between Schwalbe, Pyrum and the Technical University of Cologne.
In the medium term, the family-owned company is pursuing the goal of successively expanding the use of rCB and producing even more Schwalbe tires from recycled carbon black. To this end, intensive research is being conducted into adapting the rubber
Already more than 1,600 participants in the trade
The “Schwalbe Recycling System” was presented at Eurobike in July 2022, where it won the ‘Innovators’ Prize’. After the recycling project was launched in the pilot phase at the beginning of 2022 with around 50 participating specialist retailers, more than 1,600 are now already taking part across Germany. By December 2022, 400,000 tires had already been recycled in this way.
This is how the Schwalbe recycling system works:
1) Drop off used tires at participating dealers.
2) Transport of full recycling boxes to recycling partner Pyrum Innovations
3) Shredding of used tires into:
– Rubber granulate
4) Pyrum Thermolysis: Rubber granulate is converted into secondary raw materials (in pyrolysis oven at 700°C under oxygen exclusion)
– Process gas: Supplies complete plant with electricity
– Pyrolysis oil: Used in chemical industry as a substitute for crude oil
– Pyrolysis coke (rCB) goes to 5)
5) recycled into new Schwalbe products