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Pyrolysis, transportation of chips to the process

The Contec Tire Pyrolysis Process

A circular lens

To achieve Net Zero targets by 2050, companies will need to decarbonise supply chains and rethink their manufacturing processes with a circular lens. Technology innovation plays a pivotal role in enabling companies to transition to a circular manufacturing model. That’s why we developed a novel technology to manufacture circular ConBlack®, ConPyro®, and ConWire® from end-of-life tires (ELTs) using pyrolysis.

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What is tire pyrolysis?

Tire pyrolysis is a thermochemical process used to break down end-of-life tires(ELTs) into circular, reusable feedstock. This feedstock is subjected to high temperatures in an inert, oxygen-free atmosphere, which decomposes whole or shredded ELTs into new, marketable commodities like recovered Carbon Black (rCB), recovered steel, pyrolytic oil, and pyrolytic gas.

Pyrolysis process steps at Contec

The thermochemical process for tire pyrolysis can be described as a three-step process.

Szczecin plant as an arial photograph
Phase 1

Feedstock Preparation

Feedstock preparation is crucial and influences the quality of the pyrolytic products.

The ELTs are first shredded to separate the steel and fabric from the rubber components. The recovered steel and textiles can be reused. Mechanical primary and secondary shredders then cut the rubber down to produce less than 25mm rubber granules, which are then transported to dedicated silos.

Shredded tires yield better quality end products than whole tires because they can be heated faster and more evenly. Our process at Contec involves sourcing and using the best quality feedstock during this phase.

Phase 2

Pyrolysis Process

Before the rubber granules are fed into the pyrolysis reactor, the chamber undergoes inertisation to protect the process and workers from combustion.

The oxygen content of air is reduced from 21 per cent by volume to less than 13 per cent by pumping in nitrogen, an inert gas. Without inertisation, there is a non-negligible risk of explosion during the pyrolysis process. Not all pyrolysis processes include this step, however, Contec considers inertisation as a crucial safety feature.

Next, the rubber granules are fed into the specially designed auger-type pyrolysis reactor and decomposed into gas and rCB particles at temperatures of up to 550oC. Contec’s reactors are heated with molten salts, which circulate in a closed loop.

After passing through the condenser, most of the gas liquefies into pyrolytic oil rich in aromatic compounds, and the un-condensed gas is used as fuel to run the pyrolysis process, which is energy-intensive.

Phase 3


The raw rCB char leaves the pyrolysis reactor mixed with finer steel bits and inorganic salts. The solids are sent under a magnetic separator to remove all traces of steel.

Then the char is refined and powdered into rCB and pelletised to meet market demand. Contec’s rCB, ConBlack®, is checked in our on-site laboratory to ensure it meets our high-quality standards before being transported to end partners.

End products of pyrolysis

The Contec pyrolysis process delivers low-carbon footprint products for the manufacturing industry.

  • ConBlack®, Contec’s recovered Carbon Black, can be used in the manufacturing of new tires, replacing up to 30 per cent of semi-reinforcing virgin Carbon Blacks (vCBs), such as N550 and N660. It can also replace vCB up to 100 per cent for UV protection.
  • ConPyro®, Contec’s recovered Tire Pyrolysis Oil, can be used by refineries, in the plastic industry, and as a fuel additive.
  • ConWire®, Contec’s recovered Steel, can be used again in the processing of new tires.
  • The pyrolytic gas can be used as fuel to run the pyrolysis process and plant, reducing the overall carbon footprint of the manufacturing process and creating a circular energy loop.

Efficient and stable production

Consistent high-quality products from pyrolysis

Safe and secure pyrolysis plants

Safe and efficient rubber pyrolysis technology

Tire pyrolysis is a safe and efficient technology providing circular feedstocks to the manufacturing industry. At Contec, we perfected our technology over five years to meet stringent quality, efficiency, and safety requirements.

We invested heavily in the R&D process, collaborating with the Warsaw University of Technology and internal and external engineers on the technology design. As the facilitators, we’ve overseen the construction of a pilot plant in Szczecin, Poland, and the startup of the entire system.

We currently have two pyrolysis lines in full operation, but will soon triple the capacity of our current facility. Construction has already started on several new commercial plants across Europe after securing EUR 15 million in fundraising in 2023.

Our protected pyrolysis process of waste tires is designed with two impactful advantages.

Quality products depend on best-in-class technology

01. Quality excellence

The materials we use, and the end products we make, are of the highest quality and produced under optimal conditions. Quality is checked and managed at every stage of the manufacturing process, from the initial tire shredding and pyrolysis process to the testing of the end product in our dedicated in-house lab.

Our quality assurance process is robust. All of Contec’s industrial processes comply with relevant standards and regulations. We manage the quality of our pyrolysis products by checking the condition of the tires to ensure that we’re using the highest-quality feedstocks.

As no rCB quality standards currently exist, Contec joined ASTM Committee D36 to support the creation of quality standards and testing methods for rCB.

Our preventative maintenance program and engineers take immediate steps to identify and rectify the cause of any pyrolysis line needs. The on-site team of technicians and engineers undergo regular preventive maintenance schedules and performance checks.

02. Safety & sustainability

At Contec, we put safety and sustainability in full focus. The plant facilities provide a safe working environment with a high-performing track record in avoiding accidents and injury.

We regularly perform operator training, are supported by process engineers 24/7, and have safety procedures and automated safety systems in place.

We use circular methods that turn rubber waste into reusable materials and that comply with the guidance set out by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA): Guidance on waste and recovered substances document.

Pyrolysis, molten salt heater, burner inside


Molten®, our proprietary technology, creates the conditions for a safer, more efficient, and economical method of production, designed with repeatable quality in mind. The salt mix, Molten®, brings unparalleled energy input control into the reactors, allowing complete control over process parameters. Contec is the only company in the world that uses molten salts as a heat transfer medium in our proprietary technology.

The molten salts are first heated and pumped into a jacket where they circulate and remain in a loop around the reactor holding the ELTs’ rubber granules. An auger inside the reactor rotates to ensure that each rubber particle is evenly heated for the optimum duration so that the resulting rCB is consistently high-quality. In addition, our staff checks rCB quality every 1-3 hours, so 90 per cent of the product meets stringent quality criteria.

Molten salts need less energy to maintain their temperature than other methods and can be reused, making Contec’s entire tire pyrolysis process more efficient, economical, and better for the planet.

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