14% Recycled Content and Being Evaluated as Virgin Compound!

With SRI Test Light Truck ready for tire measurements at RRI Tire Lab

21st of October 2009 another historic day, light truck tires produced using my activated compound (Magnum SRI custom compound) establishing a 14% recycled content and ensuring the manufacturer a 6% to 8% savings in raw material cost. After having run the tires successfully through several lifetimes (30,000km), official on road measurement and validation trials started today using our tires installed on a light truck  under the supervision and protocol of the Rubber Research Institute. We will be reporting the results of the evaluations as they come out, obviously we are expecting the results to be quite exciting and reflective of the laboratory test results.

At 14% recycled content (in the tread and the sidewall) this has never been achieved before in tires, with a nearly 6 fold increase in possible recycled content and with out any loss of properties, the implications to the industry is clearly of great significance. All the independent test results from the Rubber Research Institute, Physical Testing Lab and Tire Lab are in and confirm the significance of this development, and makes this smile on my face a near permanent fixture.

The recycling of rubber scrap is forever changed now with a high volume, low cost, high efficiency system that provides for value addition and applicability in all levels of compounds from mid range through to premium without issue.

Finally we have a solution to the tire mountains and landfills that are burgeoning rapidly all over the world. One that doesn’t exchange one pollution for another that is less obvious and more easily overlooked. A solution that makes it mathematically and procedurally possible to actually deal with this longstanding problem. In the past so much about dealing with this problem in North America and Europe has been by way of subsidy and service fees.

This was sadly also the basis of some or all of the profit to be derived from the business models of proposed solutions, a reality based approach was needed. An approach that not only provided the technological leap that solved the problem in terms of Green consumption but would be profitable on its own. The subsidy would as it should, be applied to pay for collection and delivery to a central collection point or points.

Sea of Tires

The first activation plants will be commissioned after the 1st quarter of 2009 at the Magnum Colorado landfill and the Magog facility both of whose 40mesh tire crumbing facilities are expected to be installed by February with my activation process equipment proceeding with commissioning immediately after. The impact of making this happen in the Colorado landfill, the largest of its kind in the world is such a blessing and for me the ultimate honour.

This will change peoples lives and their health for the better for years to come. Every day we process, given we generate no pollution and are a carbon credit wet dream, we are doing an inherently good thing. It is a wonderful feeling to make a real difference, no lip service, no pr exercise, this is the real deal. This technology is going to be the comprehensive solution to the Global Scrap Rubber Problem by converting it into a viable industrial raw material cost effectively.

Now moving towards making Malaysia the stepping off point to setting up processing units in Asia, it’s getting very interesting.  We are going to have to substantially ramp up our plans for application trials in high end compounds and increase the scope of activity and testing at the Rubber Research Institute. While allowing testing of the proprietary process is out of the question until the patents come up for examination, the key work now is in testing and modifying our compounds in the more challenging formulations and applications in addition to looking for ways to further improve process flow and reduce cost. This will ensure and keep the momentum of our offtake and viability of the production in 2010.

The RRIM as it used to be known, is the grand old lady of research in elastomers and used to be the place that set the pace for all to try to attain and Malaysia was not only the undisputed largest producer of rubber but a place that was no pedestrian nor follower to application science. Things have changed some over the years, the wind isn’t a constant behind us and the edge to our R&D blade has seen better days. It will be nice to have something wholly Malaysian that seriously and credibly pushes the scientific and application frontiers in elastomers and more so in terms of recycling and “Green” industry development.

…..and if the RRI can be part of it, all the better,  I know there is at least one angel up there thats cheering us on.

Very interesting times indeed.

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About Gopi Sekhar

Gopi Sekhar has over 33 years of work experience involved in a wide range of activities from commercial trading, manufacture and processing of palm oil and Rubber to Research and Development in polymers, recycling and sustainable solutions.
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