Project Description

Project Description

LIFE Project Number: LIFE10 ENV/IE/000695



Project Title: Depolymerisation Technology for Rubber with Energy Optimisation to Produce Carbon Products.

Project Location: Cork, Ireland

Project Start & End Date:  05/09/2011 – 05/12/2015

Project Overview:
The DEPOTEC project proposes a depolymerisation process that will add value to the waste tyres by producing products that can be used as substitute carbon filler materials in the rubber manufacturing process. This will ultimately lead to a reduction in stockpiling of tyres as they will now become valuable raw materials for the production of these products. It will also offer an alternative to burning ELT to produce tyre-derived fuel.


Project Partners:

  • Erneside Engineering                             


  • University College Cork                           


  • Premier Green Energy                           


  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki           

Project Objectives:

  • To identify the barriers which have affected the development of “Depolymerisation” as a “Best Known Method” for ELT.
  • To understand the economic roadblocks with regard to previous exploitation of Depolymerisation Technologies for ELT.
  • To incorporate “Best Practice” into EOL tyre management, depolymerisation process development and design, energy optimization methodologies, planning and construction of the prototype plant.
  • To identify the most effective testing procedures for gauging the quality of the materials produced from ELT.
  • To develop new markets for EOL tyre products with a focus on life cycle analysis and value added products.

Expected Results:

  • A state-of-the-art survey and comparative study identifying best practice for viable and sustainable depolymerisation processes for end of life tyres.
  • Design, feasibility and construction of a prototype facility for the depolymerisation of end of life tyres, capable of processing 1,000 tonnes of used tyres per year.
  • The production of 330 tonnes per 1,000 tonnes of tyres of carbon filler using end of life tyres as feedstock.
  • The development of activated carbons of highly microporous form with both high internal surface area and porosity.
  • The production and upgrading of approx 330 tonnes of carbon product through this process and demonstration of its properties as equivalent to commercially available materials.
  • The diversion of 1,000 tonnes/year of used tyres from landfill or incineration, saving significant CO2 emissions and around 320 kWh of energy per tonne in relation to conventional forms of recycling of waste tyres.