Ever wonder what happens with your old tires after you get new ones?
Most of them are either burned, which releases harmful chemicals into the air, or buried, where they degrade for more than 100 years.
There are 25 million-39 million tons of worn-out tires around the world, according to UN figures quoted by Coral GROUP, an Israeli-owned research and development company based in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
Instead of lamenting that fact, Coral GROUP went out and figured out what to do with your old tires. Employing a new technology in the last stages of development, the company use electromagnetism to tear the tire apart and reduce it to its original components.
Coral GROUP presented its ecologically friendly technology at the 12th annual CleanTech Exhibition in Airport City on Wednesday.
"We've developed a unique soft pyrolysis technology using electromagnetic forces," the company's Middle East bureau director, Roman Berezin, told The Jerusalem Post.
Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of oxygen or any other reagents, except possibly steam.
"You need 400 degrees to melt a tire down and most companies do that by surrounding the tire from the outside with a much higher heat. That process produces mostly heavy oil," Berezin said. "Our technology uses an electromagnetic system to heat the tires from the inside. Every tire has metal ropes running through it and we use that to heat each tire to a uniform heat of 380 degrees."
The system separates the tire into its basic components and produces useful fuels - instead of just heavy oil - and metal. Benzene, diesel fuel, kerosene and even propane gas are produced, he said. The process also produces carbon black for making rubber and absorbents that are useful in pharmaceuticals and oil spills.
"Even the metal can be sold," Berezin said. What's more, the process does not produce any pollution, he said.
Coral GROUP began developing the technology two-and-a-half years ago and has established a small demonstration facility in Ukraine. They hope to soon begin production on a 9,000-ton-per-month facility in Israel and a 50,000-ton-per-month facility in Ukraine to recycle tires from the Ukraine's and seven neighboring countries.
"It becomes feasible when oil is $23 a barrel," Berezin said. Oil is currently selling for close to $130 a barrel.
Berezin estimated that the company could make as much as $68 million a year.
Coral GROUP has 32 experimental technology projects in development and five in the realization stage, he said.
Solar energy, efficient piping, monitoring equipment, analysts and even artificial turf had booths at the CleanTech Exhibition.
Artificial turf has become a viable option for replacing real grass for the environmentally minded or the lazy. While the initial investment is greater, NIS 5,000 for 20 square meters of top-of-the-line material, deshe kavua (permanent grass), it's a one-time expense for 20 years, representative Liraz Rimon told the Post. What's more, the cost of taking care of the real grass adds up over time, he said.
"Our customers can be divided into two categories: the environmentally conscious who don't want to waste water by having a real lawn, and those who just can't be bothered to spend the time taking care of real grass," Rimon said.
Among those attending the exhibition on Wednesday were builders in search of clean technologies, who queried those manning the booths about costs and potential, and a representative of the Water Authority, presumably scouting new technologies.