A new asphalt product has been unveiled that could lead to the recycling of millions of tyres each year.
The asphalt, known as Carbonphalt, has been developed by Gold Coast companies Austek Asphalt Production and Pearl Global.
Pearl Global’s manufacturing process sees used tyres, from cars to massive mining vehicles, broken down to produce carbon char, reusable steel and fuel oil.
The carbon char, which after thermal treatment is 75 per cent pure carbon and takes the form of a fine powder, is provided directly to fellow Gold Coast-company Austek Asphalt to create the Carbonphalt mix.
The companies say that while Carbonphalt costs marginally more than conventional asphalt, it offers superior durability, improved stiffness and increased scuffing resistance. Additionally, approximately 10 vehicle tyres will be saved from landfill for every tonne of Carbonphalt produced.
In total, the companies say more than 1.6 million tyres will be recycled annually for Austek Asphalt through the Pearl Global facility at Stapylton on the Gold Coast. In total the plant will recycle more than 2 million tyres at full capacity.
Austek Asphalt Production will also replace 1.3-1.6 million litres of fossil fuel (diesel) with tyre-derived oil provided from the tyre-recovery process.
The Carbonphalt product was unveiled at an event held at the Norwell Motorplex in southeast Queensland and the new material will eventually be used to re-pave the facility’s 2.2km track. That will involve approximately 2500 tonne of Carbonphalt – meaning that 25,000 tyres will be recycled in the process.
The Pearl Global/Austek Asphalt partnership has also created a second product called Carbonmastic which is another form of asphalt that can be applied in thinner layers from 20mm to 50mm.
This means that it can be overlayed on surfaces where cracking and minor deformation has occurred to prevent further damage and greatly increase the life expectancy of the pavement.