Tyre recycler Green Distillation Technologies (GDT), is conducting the first industrial trials of a new thermoelectric device from the United States, which converts heat to electric power.
The devices, which fit around the exhaust flue, have similarities to the rooftop polyvoltaic panels used in solar energy generation, but they convert heat to electric energy.
The trials will be conducted at GDT’s processing plant at Warren in Western NSW.
GDT CEO, Trevor Bayley, said that the electric power needed to operate the tyre processing facility is expensive.
“This problem is compounded for us at Warren as our power travels 500km from the Hunter Valley and we can suffer a significant transmission loss, which means we are paying a premium for power that we don’t get.
“We had considered installing a solar energy system, but we don’t really have any large flat roof surfaces and the only waste that comes from our process is heat and our exhaust stack, which is connected to the six processing modules and maintains a constant temperature that is ideal for thermoelectric generation, using this technology,” he said.
Bayley explained that their recycling process turned old end-of-life tyres into oil, carbon and steel and their emissions are scrubbed so that they conform to NSW EPA guidelines.
“We use our own oil as the heat source for the tyre processing, which is what generates the waste heat so that we have created a further cycle by using oil we have created from old tyres to generate some of the electricity needed to operate the plant.
“At this stage we envisage that the system will only generate sufficient power for our own needs and not provide any excess for the grid or other users,” Bayley said.
GDT is also in the capital fund raising stage for another processing plant in Toowoomba, Southern Queensland.