Western Australia waste production company Pearl Global has begun commissioning its first manufacturing plant follow approval for a unique process that converts waste tyres into valuable secondary products.
The company, formerly known as Citation Resources, has received a green light from the Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.
Pearl’s technology uses an applied heating process called thermal desorption to cleanly convert end-of-life tyres into products including liquid hydrocarbon, high tensile steel and carbon char.
The process also has the potential generate power for a range of other uses. Pearl already holds an environmental licence from the Western Australian Government Department of Environmental Regulations.
“This is a turning point for used processing in Australia,” said Pearl executive chairman Gary Foster. “We are the first company in Australia to receive licenses for the thermal treatment of rubber, to reclaim and recover valuable products for resale.
“Our technology is a significant advancement on other methods of processing waste tyres because in has low emissions, no hazardous by-products, requires no chemical intervention and is the only process that meets the standard emissions criteria set by the Australia regulators for this type of technology.”
Pearl’s new production plant will be based in Stapylton, Queensland, and will include two thermal desorption units (TDUs).
The second TDU is owned by Pearl’s intellectual property licensor and contracting partner, Keshi, and will eventually be bought by Pearl.
At full production, each TDU can process around 5,000 tonnes of shredded rubber per week, which is equivalent to 50,000 car tyres.
“This is the first plant of its type in Australia and we expect to be ramping up to full production over the coming months,” Foster said.