Reverse Polymerization breaks down scrap tires into basic components. This is achieved using the patented process that uses direct application of high-energy microwaves in a nitrogen environment. The oxygen-depleted environment prevents the formation of hazardous bi-products (e.g. dioxins and furans) that can form from oxidation processes. Reverse Polymerization is highly controllable as the microwave magnetrons have a variable output of up to 1.45 kW each (3.0 kW for medical waste). Each magnetron is individually controllable to apply the appropriate amount of energy to the scrap tire feed.
The carbon black produced from Reverse Polymerization can be used for new rubber production or other feedstocks. The steel is sold for recycling. From a 20 lb (9.1 kg) scrap tire, 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) of carbon black and 2.0 lb (0.91 kg) of steel are recovered, yielding a minimum 47.5% recycling rate. The remainder of the tire (oil and hydrocarbon gases) can be reused in the production of electricity. Alternatively, if the hydrocarbons are used as other production feedstocks, the recycling rate is much higher and can reach 100%. Nevertheless, the process yields 100% reuse and recycling of the scrap tire feed.
The tire reduction system is extremely flexible and facilities are designed in 1,500 tire/day modules. The model TR-6000 processes 6,000 tires daily (over 2,000,000 tires annually), reclaiming approximately 22.5 tons (20.5 tonnes) of carbon black, 6 tons (5.5 tonnes) of steel and up to 31.5 tons (28.6 tonnes) of hydrocarbons daily with a net power production capacity of 3.0 MW.
Recycling of more than 2,000,000 tires annually from a single TR-6000 plant has a significant environmental benefit. The TR-6000 fixes 7,500 tons (6,800 tonnes) of carbon annually compared to utilizing the tires directly as fuel. This mass is equivalent to 27,500 tons (25,000 tonnes) of CO2 annually. There is a further decrease in carbon emissions as the use of recycled carbon black reduces the need for production of new material, which is an emission intensive process. In addition, the hydrocarbons produced from the Reverse Polymerization process are much lower in sulfur than the scrap tire rubber; therefore, there is a significant reduction (88%) in the sulfur released to the atmosphere by generating power from Reverse Polymerization compared to burning of tire derived fuels.