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< prev - next > Waste management Recycling KnO 100397_recycling rubber (Printable PDF)
Recycling of Rubber
Practical Action
Hydraulic oil
supply for press
Steam out
Guide pillars
Press bed
Figure I: Hydraulic
The proportion of natural and synthetic rubber used for tyre manufacture depends on the
application of the particular tyre.
Truck tyre tread (in %)
Passenger vehicle tyre tread (in %)
Mineral oil
13 20 24
Carbon black
30 33 37
Rubber of which
57 40 45
Natural rubber
35 75
Table 2: Composition of typical tyre tread for commercial and passenger vehicles.
(TOOL 1996)
Why reclaim or recycle rubber?
Rubber recovery can be a difficult process. There are many reasons, however why rubber
should be reclaimed or recovered;
Recovered rubber can cost half that of natural or synthetic rubber.
Recovered rubber has some properties that are better than those of virgin rubber.
Producing rubber from reclaim requires less energy in the total production process than
does virgin material.
It is an excellent way to dispose of unwanted rubber products, which is often difficult.
It conserves non-renewable petroleum products, which are used to produce synthetic
Recycling activities can generate work in developing countries.
Many useful products are derived from reused tyres and other rubber products.
If tyres are incinerated to reclaim embodied energy then they can yield substantial
quantities of useful power. In Australia, some cement factories use waste tyres as a fuel
Tyre reuse and recovery in developing countries
There is an enormous potential for reclamation and reuse of rubber in developing countries.
There is a large wastage of rubber tyres in many countries and the aim of this brief is to give
some ideas for what can be done with this valuable resource. Whether rubber tyres are
reused, reprocessed or hand crafted into new products, the end result is that there is less
waste and less environmental degradation as a result.