The number of vehicles hitting the roads is increasing every day and so is the number of tyres. There is a business opportunity up for grabs and it’s in recycling the tyre.
Stages in Recycling Process:
Crumb: Rubber Crumb is the material resulting from granulating scrap tyres into uniform rubber granules. It can be mixed with asphalt for road surfacing and making children’s playgrounds.
Reclaimed Rubber: Reclaimed Rubber is the recycled old tyre rubber. It can be used as a substitute of natural & synthetic rubber. It is mixed with virgin rubber to further make new tyres of automobiles, bicycles and other low-cost products like footwear and mats. Virgin rubber, 90 per cent of which is produced in Kerala is sold for as high Rs. 140-150 per kg. Reclaimed rubber is sold for Rs. 25-30 per kg and India being one of the voluminous reclaims rubber producers, the production is growing by ten per cent per year.
Size of the business opportunity:
A typical passenger car tyre contains 24-28 per cent of Carbon black, 40-48 per cent of natural rubber (NR) and 36-24 per cent of synthetic rubber including Styrene Butadiene Rubbers (SBR) and Butyl Rubber (BR). These need to be recovered back from tyres lest they are wasted away. Currently, India produces 90,000 metric tonnes (MT) of reclaimed rubber, which is sold at Rs. 25-30/kg but does not produce Carbon black, Butyl Rubber and oil from used tyres.
Now the Indian tyre industry (specifically) imported 39,000 tonnes of Carbon black and 54 per cent of its Butyl Rubber requirements in 2008-09. If we could produce even a small amount of that import ourselves, we would be saving a huge amount for the exchequer.