RISORCE Secures €12.5M Investment to Revolutionise Tyre Recycling in Belgium

Belgian Firm's Pyrolysis Plant Aims to Process Half of Belgium's End-of-Life Tyres Locally

Belgian company RISORCE (Renewable, Innovative Solutions towards Recycling & Circular Economy) has embarked on an ambitious mission to transform the way Belgium manages end-of-life tyres. With the successful closure of a €12.5 million financing round involving key partners like GREEN.er (Recytyre), Noshaq, Wallonie Entreprendre, and various players in the financial sector, RISORCE is set to construct a groundbreaking tyre recycling plant in the province of Liège.

Through the utilisation of a cutting-edge pyrolysis process, this facility aims to locally process half of Belgium's discarded car tyres, significantly reducing environmental impact and advancing the circular economy.

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Published on
September 19, 2023

A Growing Tyre Recycling Challenge in Belgium

Belgium annually accumulates over 5 million discarded car tyres, a considerable environmental challenge. The majority of these tyres are traditionally shredded, with the rubber particles separated from textile and metal components, subsequently repurposed for various industrial applications including sports flooring, soundproofing materials, street furniture, and road asphalt. However, the tyre recycling industry, like many others, is seeking innovative circular economy solutions.

RISORCE's Pyrolysis Revolution

Founded in 2022, RISORCE has taken up the mantle of innovation in tyre recycling. The company plans to implement a pyrolysis process that primarily yields valuable oil, to be sold as a raw material to European petrochemical companies. Additionally, the process generates carbon black and gas, which find use in industrial applications or fulfil the plant's operational requirements. The outcome is a complete transformation of tyre granulates into products with industrial applications, offering substantial environmental benefits. RISORCE's recycling approach is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by over 70%, as demonstrated in a recent EU study on plastic waste recycling.

Bernard van den Wouwer, Founder & CEO of RISORCE, emphasized the company's commitment to both local solutions and the circular economy, stating, "We are offering a locally-based solution that is both technologically and environmentally robust. A real innovation."

Pioneering Pyrolysis for Tyre Recycling

While pyrolysis is not a new industrial process, its application to tyre granulate recycling remains in its infancy, with no similar units operating at an industrial scale in Belgium or neighbouring countries. RISORCE is working alongside industry leaders to ensure the plant adheres to rigorous environmental and legal standards. The support of GREEN.er, the investment fund initiated by Recytyre, underscores the strategic significance of this project in Belgium. Additionally, a committee of experts from Pôle Mecatech, a local competitiveness cluster of which RISORCE is a member, has endorsed the initiative.

Chris Lorquet, CEO of Recytyre, pointed out the necessity for the rubber recycling industry to evolve, saying, "The future of material circularity lies in the chemical processing of tyre components. The RISORCE pyrolysis project is a fine example of this."

East Belgium Park Development Zone: The Future Home of RISORCE

RISORCE has identified the East Belgium Park Development Zone in Baelen, Liège Province, as the site for its groundbreaking tyre recycling venture. The project envisions accommodating six waste tyre processing units, capable of handling 18,000 tons of tyre granulates annually, equivalent to 2,400,000 tyres per year. To achieve this ambitious goal, a €12.5 million investment is planned for the initial phase, with financial support from Noshaq, the GREEN.er fund (Recytyre), as well as ING and Wallonie Entreprendre. Construction of the first unit is slated for 2024, followed by subsequent units, with the plant set to be fully operational by 2025. Ultimately, this initiative is expected to create around twenty local jobs, contributing not only to the environment but also to the economic development of the Liège region.

Stéphanie Sacré, Invest Manager for Noshaq, expressed her support for RISORCE's project, emphasizing its alignment with multiple investment objectives. "The solution not only contributes to reducing the environmental impact of the tyre production sector but also has a direct economic impact, as it creates jobs and contributes to the reindustrialisation of the Liège region."

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