Coordinated by the leading global tyre manufacturer Michelin and uniting seven industrial partners, five Research & Technological Organizations (RTOs) and an innovation cluster into a European consortium in five countries, the BlackCycle project aims to enable a massive circular economy of tyres by designing world-first processes to produce new tyres from end-of-life tyres.
Officially funded by the EU in May 2020, on 3 September, the BlackCycle partners were pleased to announce the launch of this exciting new project. The BlackCycle project involves 13 organisations1 in a unique European public-private partnership that will demonstrate the technical, environmental, and economic viability of world-first circular processes. The consortium will develop specific solutions to produce sustainable raw materials for tyres: ELT collection and feedstock selection, pyrolysis2 optimisation, oil refining and valorisation, furnace process optimisation, and sustainable tyre performance assessment. As early as 5-6 years after the project, close to 1 out of every 2 European ELTs will be incorporated into the only virtuous cycle of this magnitude amongst all industrial sectors for the recovery of end of life products.
Funded by the Horizon 2020 program, BlackCycle benefits from an overall budget of about 16 M€ with an allocated European funding of about 12M€ (75% of project costs, see Fig. 1). About 35% of the project funding is allocated to SMEs, 15% to RTOs and 34% corresponds to the personnel costs.
The consortium covers 5 European countries: France, Spain, Germany, Greece, and Switzerland and includes 7 industrial partners, 5 RTOs and an innovation cluster. Coordinated by Michelin, the consortium has designed an effective governance system involving a steering committee, a cluster synergies board, and a technical support committee.