The EWS Reverse Polymerization (RP) process, when applied to scrap tires, reduces them to their base components (carbon black, steel, hydrocarbon gases and oil). The system directly applies the microwave energy to the tires as they pass through a nitrogen filled tunnel on a continuous basis. The nitrogen prevents the formation of hazardous byproducts (e.g. dioxins and furans) that can form when oxygen is present. The RP process allows for a high level of processing control through the proprietary Microwave Delivery System that guides and monitors the microwave energy produced. Each magnetron is individually controlled allowing the system to continuously adjust the amount of energy being applied in any section of the tunnel.
The carbon black produced is of high enough quality to be used in new rubber production or other feedstock. The steel is sold for recycling. From a 20 lb (9.1 kg) tire, 7 lbs (3.18 kg) of carbon black and 2.0 lbs (0.91 kg) of steel are recovered. The remainder of the tire (oil and hydrocarbon gases) can be reused in the production of electricity or sold for use in other applications. The process yields almost 100% reuse and recycling of the scrap tire feed.
The tire reduction system is designed around the EWS TR-1500 as the base module. The TR-1500 processes 1,500 tires per day (500,000 annually) as compared to the model TR-6000 (four TR-1500 modules) which processes 6,000 tires daily ( 2,000,000 annually). The TR-6000 reclaims about 22.5 tons (20.5 tonnes) of carbon black, 6 tons (5.5 tonnes) of steel, and over 1.6 million gallons of oil. The remaining hydrocarbon gases are used to produce the power needed to operate the system. Alternatively the oil and gas can be combined to produce up to 6 MW of power, netting almost 3 MW for use by local industries or homes.
Recycling of more than 2,000,000 tires annually with the EWS system fixes 7,500 tons (6,800 tonnes) of carbon annually. When compared to utilizing the tires directly as a tire derived fuel (TDF), the mass savings is equivalent to 27,500 tons (25,000 tonnes) of CO 2 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 TDF.