Project Title : Feasibility Study for Product Development from Waste Tyres

Applicant : Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Dr. Gordon McKay)

Total Approved Grant : $94,500 (funded by ECF and WWGF on an equal share basis)

Duration : April 2003 - September 2003

Project Status/Remarks : completed

Scope : The project aims to study the feasibility of producing value-added products from waste tyres in Hong Kong. Pilot-scale experiments to simulate the waste tyre processing system to obtain activated carbon and carbon black from waste tyres will be conducted. Based on the results, the process design of the waste tyre processing system, product analysis and process assessment and economic evaluation will be performed.

Summary of findings :

A feasibility study for the pyrolysis and activation of scrap tyres to make activated carbon has been performed in this research project. The objectives of this research study were i) to investigate the situation of scrap tyre problems and disposal methods in Hong Kong; ii) to carry out a preliminary design of a scrap tyre pyrolysis and activation system to produce value-added products such as activated carbon and fuel oil; iii) to carry out the costing and economic evaluation of the scrap tyre pyrolysis and activation process and iv) to compare the stand-alone plant and process economics with a plant that is integrated into another major processing facility

This project consists of a preliminary process design based on various literature sources and an economic evaluation, in which the estimation of the Capital Investment, the Production Cost, the Return On Investment (ROI), the Cash Flow and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), has been carried out. For the Stand-Alone Activated Carbon Plant, it is found that ROI is up to 27.4% when the Total Capital Investment (TCI) is HK$54,650,000. The IRR is 21.2%, showing a profitable prospect of the production plant. The Payback period is estimated to be 4 years after the commencement of production. For the Integrated Activated Carbon Plant, the TCI of the waste tyre treatment process can be reduced to HK$4,137,000 and the ROI and IRR increases to 40.2% and 31.2%. The Payback period is reduced to 2.8 years after the commencement of production.