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Management of used tires, accomplishments in the world, and situation in Serbia

Author(s): Stanojević Dušan D. | Rajković Miloš B. | Tošković Dragan V.

Journal: Hemijska Industrija
ISSN 0367-598X

Volume: 65;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 727;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: used tyres | management | ruber recycling

It is estimated that all over the world there are more than 550 million road vehicles in everyday use. Annually, 1.3 billion used tyres are dismantled from these vehicles due to safety reasons. A small number of these tyres end up reused as second-hand tyres or, after being retreated, as new ones. The rest are end of life tyres which are recycled or used as tire derived fuels under controlled combustion conditions. Modern vehicle tyres are a high-technological product containing, on the average, 85% hydrocarbon, 10-15% steel, as well as some other chemical materials. Tyres belong to high caloric materials, with calorific value of a passenger car tyre of approx. 30.2 MJ/kg being more than of hard coal and comparable to calorific value of petrol-coke. Having this in mind many countries use end of life tyres as safe alternative fuel in cement works or power plants. Undeveloped countries dump end of life tyres on legal and illegal scrap stockpiles. End of life tyres, if deposed correctly, don’t endanger the environment because they are chemically inert. However, since they can easily be burnt there is a real possibility of tyre dump fires, which in effect can lead to harmful products emission that extremely pollute the environment. End of life tyres represent a very important secondary material, which when recycled is transformed into a number of raw materials used in rubber industry, for road construction, sports facilities, residential and business buildings, artificial fish habitats in shallow seas, sea walls, steel production, etc. By the industrial procedures of controlled degradation, which have been uneconomical up till now, gaseous and liquid fuel can be obtained by natural rubber, steel and soot recycling. The countries of the EU, together with Norway and Switzerland, were the world leaders in the field of effective end of life tyre management in the year 2009. Out of 2.62 million tonnes of end of life tyres, 95% were restored or used as energents, and 5% settled on dumps. About 26.000 t of used tyres are collected in Serbia each year. In accordance with adopted legal legislations, up to 30% can be used as tire derived fuels while 70% are being recycled. Serbia belongs to the group of countries which have solved the problem of used tyres in a modern way, and in accordance with EU Legislation practice.
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