Waterloo showcases new tire devulcanization facility

Tyromer-Waterloo-devulcanization-scrap-rubber-recycling-EDIWeekly
Tyromer technology inventor, Costas Tzoganakis, MPP for Kitchener Centre, Daiene Vernile and CEO of Tyromer, Sam Visaisouk converse in front of the new production facility. Photo: Ontario Tire Stewardship, CNW Group

A Waterloo company that won a prestigious TiE50 award for entrepreneurship in technology in 2014 has now opened its first facility. The “groundbreaking” company was established by the University of Waterloo to commercialize its proprietary method of recycling scrap tires. That method, invented by a professor in the chemical engineering department at Waterloo, turns scrap tire rubber into a material called Tyromer-TDP, for tire-derived polymer. The Waterloo facility is the first of its kind and will showcase the potential impact its devulcanization technology can have on tire recycling in Ontario, according to a statement.

In North America alone, 300 million scrap tires must be dealt with each year, according to Tyromer CEO Sam Visaisouk. This amounts to 10 billion pounds of tires. The Tyromer process gives the world a “socially responsible and environmentally sustainable” solution for the management of scrap tires. In a 2014 interview, Visaisouk drew a distinction between simply recycling tires and what his company does. Tyromer is not in the tire recycling business, but is rather a material manufacturer that uses rubber derived from scrap tires to produce a new form of rubber for reuse in manufacturing other goods.

Explaining the process, Visaisouk said that no chemicals are used in the devulcanization process. The conversion, which is accomplished by thermal mechanical extrusion, is 99 per cent efficient. The process reverses vulcanization, in which rubber is mixed with sulfur at high temperature to create a hard, durable rubber suitable for tires. The Tyromer process reverses this so that the rubber can be used again. It can be used to treat other forms of vulcanized rubber, such as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), the sturdy synthetic rubber used in the roofing industry among others.

The rubber devulcanization technology is licensed to Tyromer by the University of Waterloo. The company will in turn license the technology and manufacturing system, as well as partner with “synergistic entities” to accelerate growth.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • TransCanada's Energy East pipeline has building trades support
  • GM, Ford and VW bear the brunt of a dip in Chinese auto sales; trade war cools world's biggest auto market
  • Containment system can trap offshore oil leaks, protect environment
  • Ontario to update Nuclear Emergency Response Plan in the event of nuclear and radiological events
  • Grid-scale electricity storage solution from New York startup
  • Women wanted in construction trades as "tremendous opportunity" exists
  • World's oil suppliers in for a shock: IEA
  • Automation, robotics to have profound effect on industry in coming years
  • Pembina set for biggest expansion in its history
  • Fully solar powered vehicle: an RV that runs without fuel or charging stations?
  • Thunder Bay wind farm gets government approval
  • Manufacturers group says government policies reflect its input
  • International Trade Commission Hands Down Verdict in Bombardier versus Boeing Dispute
  • Audit pans government's climate change progress
  • Elon Musk's Hyperloop vision racing ahead of naysayers and regulators — Boring Company receives permission to tunnel 10 miles; early tests of tube successful
  • Financial services fastest growing industry in Canada for exports: Conference Board of Canada
  • Metal Conducts Electricity without Heating
  • Company tries to stop U.S. cleanup effort on longest oil spill in history claiming it will "lead to a bigger environmental catastrophe"
  • Enbridge pipeline reversal approved by National Energy Board
  • Toyota celebrating 50 years in Canada with Special Edition Corolla S
Scroll to Top