The Leading Journal for the Tyre Recycling Sector

The Leading Journal for the Tyre Recycling Sector

SIGNUS Seeks Textile Solutions

GAIKER, chosen by SIGNUS to achieve the use of the textile fraction of tyresc

The FIBER2FIBER project manages to recover, through chemical recycling, the textile fraction of tyres at the end of their useful life.

The GAIKER Technology Centre, a member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance, BRTA, has been in charge of developing the SIGNUS FIBER2FIBER project with the objective of investigating the use of the textile fraction from tire recycling.

The management of tyres, which are mainly composed of rubber, carbon black, steel, and textile fibres and incorporate a wide variety of chemicals, requires constantly investigating new ways for their recycling and application in different uses and destinations since currently it is not possible to incorporate all of its components into the manufacturing chain of new tyres. In this context, this project arises that aims to achieve the circularity of textile fibres composed of polyesters, to incorporate them back into the production chain.

Obtaining the fraction of rubber-free textile fibre during the tyre recycling process is very difficult and, therefore, in this research, first of all, the different materials that make up the waste had to be separated and, subsequently, to be able to valorise the textile fraction composed mainly of polyester through chemical recycling via solvolysis.

With this technology, chemical monomers have been obtained that are suitable for being reincorporated into the value chain allowing the development of new textile fibers suitable for use in the manufacture of new tyres.

To achieve this objective, the following tasks have been carried out:

  • Characterisation of materials from ELTs, identifying the components present and their proportion.
  • Evaluation of various methods for separating material fractions, such as rubber, steel and textile fibre, present in the waste for subsequent recycling.
  • Evaluation of the technical feasibility of chemical recycling via solvolysis for the textile fraction contained in the tyre.
  • Implementation of recycling techniques suitable for the textile fraction from the tyre at the end of its useful life, thus contributing to the Circular Economy model.
  • Chemical recycling of the textile fraction present in tyres at the end of their useful life, composed mainly of polyesters, to obtain their chemical monomer through depolymerisation.
  • Verification for cycle closure through the synthesis of new polyester from the chemically recycled monomer.

Thanks to the development of this project, it has been possible to recover polyester from the textile fraction of tyres, allowing it to be recycled and, therefore, reincorporated into the value chain.