How Innovative Tire Recycling Can Change the World: A Q&A with Kevin Adams, VP of Research & Development
End-of-life tires. The average consumer might not be familiar with what they are or why they’re such a threat, but at MRT, we can’t stop thinking about them. They’re big, bulky, harmful to the environment, and there’s currently no efficient way to address this issue.
Enter, Tire Hog. Born in our R&D labs in Ohio, Tire Hog is the first 100% mobile and self-contained tire recycling system. It’s a truly one-of-its-kind innovation that has the potential to change the world.
To help explain the technology and its potential, we’re talking with Tire Hog engineer Kevin Adams.
Q: What is the technology behind Tire Hog?
Tire Hog uses advanced microwave technology, which can efficiently break down the tire material into three useful byproducts: carbon black, oil and gas.
This microwave technology, which works by indirectly depolymerizing the tire material, addresses the many processing difficulties encountered with traditional pyrolysis: low efficiency, fouled heat transfer surfaces, and low carbon quality. With an 80%+ energy conversion and direct heating of the materials,
the microwave technology eliminates heat transfer issues, giving us a high-quality carbon product with a variety of re-use applications.
Q: How efficient is the Tire Hog process?
When we say efficient, we mean that there is minimal waste in our process, and this applies on a number of levels. The microwave process uses less energy and results in fewer emissions than other methods such as incineration, so the process itself has a small carbon footprint. We estimate that Tire Hog has an 80%+ energy conversion rate.
One of the key goals is to also minimize waste of the actual product. Based on our early estimates, Tire Hog can process 1,200 tires per day into 12,000 lbs of carbon, 6,360 lbs of oil, and 5,640 lbs of gas. Instead of sitting in a landfill, those byproducts become valuable recycled fuel for any number of other industries.
And because Tire Hog is mobile, there’s no need to transport tires thousands of miles; Tire Hog comes to you. Our machine fits on a standard tractor-trailer, is 100% mobile, and is fully powered via the byproducts it yields.
Q: What is the impact of Tire Hog? Why is it important?
Tire Hog is our answer to the billion-tire problem causing global economic and environmental strain. End-of-life tires don’t get as much publicity as plastic or food waste, but with more than 4 billion tires in piles or landfills around the world, they’ve become a massive global challenge.
One Tire Hog can process 288,000 tires a year without harm to the environment, making it a vital piece of the battle against global waste. And economically, Tire Hog turns waste into profit. In one year, Tire Hog is estimated to generate a value of $1,036,800 in carbon, $228,960 in oil, and $102,495 in gas.
At MRT, we believe if we have the ability to solve a problem, we have the responsibility to solve it – and that’s exactly what we did with Tire Hog. Now, we’re ready to see how the world can put it to use.