Michelin buys 20% in Sweden’s Enviro to co-develop tyre recycling tech

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 15 Apr 2020

Representational image courtesy: Enviro

French tyre major Michelin, is partnering with Sweden-based Enviro to develop and industrialise an innovative pyrolysis technology to recycle old tyres.

Swedish-startup Enviro was founded in 2001 with just 20 employees that developed a technology to modify the chemical composition and physical phase of the pneumatic material during the pyrolysis process, while ensuring minimal energy consumption.

This highly innovative technology enables to produce high-quality products such as recovered carbon black, pyrolysis oil, steel or gas, products that can then be re-incorporated into the production circuit of different industrial sectors.  Thanks to this recycling technology, tyres that are now considered as waste can be recycled into raw materials. Michelin says that for the tyre industry and its customers, recycling is a major issue. Each year, about 1 billion tyres reach the end of their life, but now thanks to this recycling technology, used tyres will give birth to new quality raw materials. The technology consists of a chemical decomposition of an organic compound by a sharp increase in its temperature. It allows the extraction of new products not initially contained in the organic compound.

Michelin says the envisioned partnership with Enviro is based on four axes –

  • A development agreement to deploy Enviro's pyrolysis technology on a larger scale.
  • Michelin will buy 20 percent stake in Enviro's capital, amounting to 32,526,262 SEK  (Rs 25 crore), or the equivalent of 116,165,223 shares, making Michelin the largest shareholder.
  • The Group will support developing Enviro by its board representation expected to be proposed to the shareholder vote. The shareholding subscription has been signed on April 15.
  • The common project to build a factory to industrialise the technology, for which the plant location will be confirmed at a later date.
  • A joint supply agreement between Michelin and Enviro.

Michelin says this partnership will allow the complementary know-how of the two companies to be pooled in order to accelerate progress in tyre recycling. Michelin will bring its industrial know-how to the plant's construction project and its know-how in terms of R&D and production. Enviro will bring its patented pyrolysis technology, which will produce high-quality products.

Sonia Artinian-Fredou, Services and Solutions, High Technology Materials Business Director, Michelin said: “The partnership we have just signed with Enviro fits perfectly with Michelin's ‘All Sustainable’ vision. After the acquisition of Lehigh Technologies in 2017, a specialist in high-tech micro-powders derived from recycled tyres, this is a further proof of Michelin's long-term commitment to recycling and sustainable mobility.”

Michelin says the discussions are ongoing between the two companies with the objective to conclude a final agreement by mid-2020.