Inside Aussie Green Distillation Technologies Tyre Recycling Plan

Posted by: Dan on 8/10/2015

Category: Community

Inside Aussie Green Distillation Technologies' Tyre Recycling Plan

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, less than 20 per cent of tyres are recycled in Australia leading to overflowing landfills and ongoing pollution. Discarded tyres also get thrown into rivers, lakes and streams with ongoing damage to our environment and ecosystems.


Green tech start-up Green Distillation Technologies (GDT) aims to revolutionize the way we get rid of our old tyres. Based in Melbourne, Australia, GDT developed a destructive distillation technology with the ability to recycle end-of-life vehicle tyres and transform them into valuable and saleable commodities such steel, oil and carbon. The company already launched a pilot plant that is currently in operation. It has undergone extensive testing by potential buyers, the Department of Innovation, the Australian Government and other science and research organizations.   


While there are plenty of things we can do with old tyres, it’s better for our environment and our overall health if we can find large-scale, sustainable solutions to recycle them. The technology and innovation to find more efficient ways to create energy or turn our tyre rubber into new materials is already here and needs to be embraced by our manufacturers and retailers alike.

Fortunately GDT has responded to the call and is pushing forward to not just research and develop, but implement new technologies. Get an inside look into Australian Green Distillation Technologies Tyre recycling plant and learn more about their advancements in green technology.

Destructive Distillation Technology

Green Distillation Technologies uses technology known as destructive distillation which controls heat to reduce tyres to their raw elements. Next, the tyre elements are reformed into oils that are then distilled and collected. Because carbon is the most abundant element in the tyre rubber, it is delivered in a powder form of the highest purity. GDT then removes the steel, meticulously cleans and collects it before moving onto the next phase in the process.


The processing plants were made in modular form with a single module consisting of two processing tubes and all the necessary equipment needed to properly recycle the tyres. A commercial scale plant contains six modules and can process 19,000 tonnes of tyres every year. Despite the staggering amount of processing done each year GDT reports this only represents a mere three percent of End of Life Tyres, or ELT, produced in Australia annually.


The process GDT uses is the only one available in Australia that actually remanufactures the rubber of the ELT into a different form of energy. Other companies’ processes simply change the shape and appearance of the rubber without doing much to actually recycle it. Instead, oil produced from the GDT process is used as heating fuel or in stationary diesel engines. With further refinement, the company can use even better engine fuels with the old tyres. Meanwhile, the steel is returned directly to the scrap steel to be used for just about anything that calls for steel.

Clean Tyre Recycling

GDT’s factory is also emission-free despite the reputation tyres have for contributing to pollution. The company features two circuits in the recycling process including the processes vapor circuit and the heat and exhaust circuit. Oils are burnt in a large waste oil burner before being generated by the necessary heat required for the process. Most of the exhaust gasses are then directed back into the heating circuit before the remaining elements pass through a lime bath scrubber. It’s here that the dioxides of carbon and sulphur get converted into sulphate and calcium carbonate. Despite the presence of sulphate and calcium carbonate, all vapors are contained in the system and condensed and do not pollute the air.


Considering the entire process involved, it’s impressive GDT can recycle its tyres with the cleanest tech possible and without creating any waste. The only real waste is heat that can also be repurposed in the process involving oil, steel and rubber filler.


Take a look at how heat waste is used when recycling tyres.


Oil: The oil can be used as a heat source and blended with fossil fuels to make carbon black. Once it’s further refined into carbon, GDT can then turn the carbon into an agriculture additive or use it as a heat source.

Rubber filler: The filler can easily be recycled into new tyres to cut down on the need for new rubber manufacturing.


Steel: Tyres contain steel can be repurposed to use again in the tyre making process.


Carbon: Converted into new energy, raw carbon can be used to power the factory plant. It can also be further distilled to make other forms of energy used by GDT.


There’s another factor to GDT’s tyre recycling that is so impressive. It generally does not require any pre-treatment. This prevents damage to the environment, is less time consuming and requires less resources to impact the tyre consumer’s bottom line.

Green Distillation Technologies is poised to reinvent the way Australia handles its used tyres, but we’ve got a long way to go before recycling alternatives are accepted as the norm. Hopefully, interest from both consumers and governmental agencies will make this greener option the standard for used tyre recycling in the years to come.