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A New Idea in Tire Industry - Recycling of Waste Tires - Guidelines on Comprehensive Utilization of Waste Tires indicates that in 2015, the annual output of recycled rubber products in China will reach 3 million tons, and that of rubber powder 1 million tons. Besides, about 10 well-known enterprises engaged in comprehensive utilization of waste tires will be fostered then. Meanwhile, the retreading level of domestic waste tires will be increased greatly: the retreading rate of truck tires will be increased to 25%, that of giant engineering tires will be increased to 30%, and that of tires for passenger cars will break through zero. The processing and environmental protection pass rate of waste tire resources will reach 80%. In terms of comprehensive utilization of waste tires, China has initially formed such four major business segments as retreading and re-manufacture of waste tires, production of recycled rubber with waste tires, production of rubber powder and pyrolysis.

At present, there are about 1,000 tire retreading enterprises in China. In 2009, the output of retreaded tires in China was only 1,300, and China’s retreading rate was less than 5%. However, the retreading rates in developed countries were above 45%. The output of reclaimed rubber was approximately 2.70 million tons and that of rubber powder was about 200,000 tons. The retreading rate, recycling rate and utilization rate of waste tires are all at a low level. The development of China’s tire retreading industry is far from being adaptable for the requirement of severe resource environment situation currently.

There are four problems confronting the development of comprehensive utilization of waste tires: First, the enterprises engaged in comprehensive utilization of waste tires are almost small in scale, backward in equipment and poor in comprehensive strength. In particular, the problem of secondary pollution in enterprises producing recycled rubber has not been solved yet; second, the industry management is relatively weak. A well-operated recycling system has not been established yet. It is rather difficult for the enterprises with relatively high level of technology to gain waste tire resources required in the production; third, the product technology and quality standards are inadequate, leading to uneven product quality and affecting market development; fourth, there is generally a lack of technical R&D means and strength as well as hi-tech innovation capacity.

Tire retreading pertains to waste recycling, which is consistent with the concept of green energy-saving in China and worthy of strong support and encouragement. As China gradually enters the automobile aftermarket era, the demand for tires in China will see a further growth. Vigorous promotion of  comprehensive utilization of waste tires and development of recycling economy of the rubber industry can not only alleviate the situation of rubber resource shortage in China and reduce the dependence on imported rubber resources, but also promote energy-saving and emission-reduction in the rubber industry in China.

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