Irish motor race-enthusiast Niall Mimnagh, founder of Mimergy, was keen to find a better solution to turn one billion waste tyres, which annually accumulate worldwide, into valuable resources. The technology he developed in 2015 is zero-waste and processes waste rubber into three different marketable products. Now Mimergy got nominates as one of the six start-ups for the Green Alley Award 2017, a European business competition for circular economy start-ups and eco-entrepreneurs.
Find out more in this interview with Niall about Mimergy ’s technology and how it distinguishes itself from similar ones:
Niall, please tell us: How did you initially get engaged with this tyre problem and the technology you developed to solve it?
The development of Mimergy’s technology began when through car racing, I realised the extent of the global waste tyre problem. I noticed that I was leaving a large trail of waste tyres behind me. I did some research into current methods of waste tyre recycling and was convinced there had to be a better way. I began developing a technology which could recover precious resources from this robust waste. I went on to build a variety of small bench scale and larger machines in order to prove out the initial concept. The technology has since evolved to the current commercial scale model which is capable of continuously processing two hundred and fifty kilograms of feedstock material per hour.
Can you describe the technological process your tyres pass through in a few sentences?
Pyrolysis is the thermochemical decomposition of material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen and is itself, a proven technology. In our process, feedstock materials are loaded into a hopper using a forklift. Materials then enter the reactor and are slowly heated up to temperatures between four and five hundred degrees Celsius. As the feedstock heats up, vapours are released and extracted quickly. These gases are cooled and condensed into a liquid fraction. This liquid fraction contains our chemical and fuel oil products.
Any incondensable gases are collected and can be used to heat the system. Our carbon product is also collected and cooled at this point.
You state yourself that you developed a “zero-waste process”. How come? No residual waste or contaminating by-products are left over after the process?
Our process converts waste rubber into a gas fraction, a liquid fraction and a solid fraction. All of these outputs are saleable products with no residual waste remaining.
What is the USP of your technology?
Mimergy’s competitive edge in the market rests with its innovative system design. While there are other systems on the market that process waste tyres into oil, our system is different. Mimergy’s innovative reactor design enables the production of high quality carbon and chemical products in addition to fuel oil. This is possible due to our control of complex chemical processes. Unlike competitors, our technology extracts pyrolysis vapours before they are broken down by the heat of the reactor into the undesirable elements which our competitors work so hard to remove from their products. As a result, our liquid fraction can be separated into oil and other extremely valuable chemical products.
This is not possible using competing technologies as here, the chemicals get broken down due to prolonged heat exposure. The expanded revenue base resulting from sales of our chemical products ultimately means that the Mimergy system is not reliant on getting a gate fee for the waste tyres, to be commercially attractive, unlike previous systems. Furthermore, Mimergy’s technology can run profitably while processing much lower volumes of feedstock than similar technologies.
Who do you see as potential clients and what’s in store four them choosing your final products rather than products from primary producers?
The target market for the core products of Mimergy’s pyrolysis process are industrial customers who burn fuel to generate heat e.g. manufacturers in the food, concrete, and wood products manufacturing industries. These customers tend to purchase large volumes of fuel on a weekly basis. These customers are traditionally very price sensitive but we are targeting those manufacturers who are seeking sustainability.
Mimergy enables these industrial customers to achieve sustainability by offering them a green, sustainable alternative to fuels and products which are otherwise derived from oil.
More information you will find here
Thank you Niall for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.