Schwalbe has received series deliveries of recycled carbon black (rCB) from Pyrum Innovations AG, producing the first new series tyre.
The rCB comes from the recycling of used tyres, which Schwalbe collects from specialist dealers throughout Germany with the Schwalbe Recycling System.
The used tyres are collected via the dealer network in specially made recycling boxes, picked up and transported to recycling partner Pyrum in Dillingen, Saarland. There, with its pyrolysis plant, the company takes over the mechanical processing as well as the recycling of the used tyres. Schwalbe says the process produces no waste.
Previously, bicycle tyres were incinerated and the raw materials were lost. The holistic recycling process saves 80% of CO2. Production of the first bicycle tyre to use rCB entirely instead of industrial carbon black is in full swing, and the tyre will be unveiled in June.
In the medium term, the family-owned company said it is pursuing the goal of successively expanding the use of rCB and producing more Schwalbe tyres from recycled carbon black. To this end, intensive research is being conducted into adapting the rubber compounds.
The Schwalbe Recycling System was presented at Eurobike in July 2022, where it won the Innovators’ Prize. After the recycling project was launched in the pilot phase at the beginning of 2022 with around 50 participating specialist retailers, more than 1,600 are now already taking part across Germany. By December 2022, 400,000 tyres had already been recycled in this way.
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Please note that the Schwalbe Recycling System for tyres is currently available in Germany whilst the logistics are arranged for other countries in Europe. To be informed when the service will be available in the UK email firstname.lastname@example.org. Email the same address to register for the Schwalbe tube recycling programme which is operating in the UK.
How the Schwalbe recycling system works:
1) Drop off used tyres at participating dealers
2) Transport of full recycling boxes to recycling partner Pyrum Innovations
3) Shredding of used tyres into rubber granulate, steel, fabric
4) Pyrum Thermolysis: Rubber granulate is converted into secondary raw materials (in pyrolysis oven at 700°C under oxygen exclusion)
– Process gas: Supplies complete plant with electricity
– Pyrolysis oil: Used in chemical industry as a substitute for crude oil
– Pyrolysis coke (rCB) goes to 5)
5) Recycled into new Schwalbe products