The Tire Recycling Project, also known as TREC, is designed to develop two uses for used tires. The project is driven by Groupe Michelin.
The first use, TREC Regeneration, involves regenerating rubber compounds to make new high performance tires. SDTech SA ( Solides Divisés Technologies) and Protéus are sharing their respective know-how with Michelin on this project.
The second, TREC Alcohol, will enable the production of a chemical intermediate needed to synthesize raw materials used in tire manufacturing. The alcohol derived from used tires will be included in the BioButterfly butadiene production project alongside biomass alcohol from such sources as sugar, wood and agricultural waste.
Michelin is working with Protéus and the CEA on developing TREC Alcohol.
TREC is backed by a 51 million euro budget (close to $69 million in today's dollars) extending over eight years. France's Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) will provide 13.3 million euros ($18 million) to Michelin and SDTech as part of the French government's “Investing in the Future” program.
In light of the growth forecasts for the global tire market, demand for raw materials will increase considerably in the coming decades, according to Michelin.
"Michelin’s innovation strategy consistently focuses on making the best possible use of raw materials," says Terry Gettys, the company's director of R&D. "The TREC project is a perfect example of ecodesign, and it will help us make new high performance tires using quality raw materials from used tires, thanks to the shared expertise of the CEA, Protéus and SDTech.”