News Flash, March 16: Canadian clean tech company Ecolomondo Corp. announced Wednesday that it had secured an offtake agreement for up to 80% of the recovered carbon black from its Hawkesbury, Ontario, facility.
Recovered carbon black is produced by processing end-of-life tires using Ecolomondo's Thermal Decomposition Process (TDP) recycling technology.
Under the deal, the initial purchase order is for eight truckloads of recovered carbon black totaling 181 metric tons in April and May 2022, followed by 10 truckloads per month and growing to 20 truckloads a month over time, the company said. The transactions have a potential value of $7 million at the current market price.
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On Monday, the company also announced an initial purchase order from a multinational corporation for pyrolysis oil produced at the plant. The order is for a full tanker carrying 262 barrels valued at about $25,000.
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Every year, the U.S. disposes of about 300 million end-of-life tires, representing 30% of global tire waste.
Ecolomondo Corp. (ECM:TSX; ECLMF:OTC), a Canadian clean tech company, specializes in converting those tires, and other waste plastics and hydrocarbons, into marketable end products like carbon black substitute, oil, gas, steel, and fiber.
It does this through its Thermal Decomposition Process (TDP) recycling technology, which it says will play a critical role in the development of a sustainable economy.
Ecolomondo’s first commercial facility in Hawkesbury, Ontario, is expected to be fully operational in the coming weeks.
The company also recently announced an $80 million six-reactor facility in Shamrock, Texas, with annual revenues estimated at $31 million and EBITDA at $18 million (58% EBITDA margin). The announcement opens the door for further expansion in the continent and beyond, with its projected annual tire processing capacity set at 5 million to 6 million. Investors are expected to see value as the company announces more partnerships to scale the TDP technology, and we expect that would translate into higher valuation.
“We believe that the recent investment trends support clean tech financing, and Ecolomondo would have access to both asset-backed loans and equity markets to fund its future projects. Management and Board own a considerable portion of the basic outstanding shares, at 75.7%. We see this as a significant positive alignment of interests between management, shareholders, and stakeholders,” said Pooja Sharma of Volt Strategic Research.
TDP is a closed-loop, slow pyrolysis technology that operates in an oxygen-free environment using positive pressure and a batch rotary reactor. The process is largely energy self-sufficient. Ecolomondo’s exclusive automation system allows for strict control of cycle times, processing parameters, and consistent batch production, resulting in quality, commercial-grade recycled commodities and end products.
The Hawkesbury plant will operate two reactors, each with a capacity to process seven tons of end-of-life tires in one batch. It can process 14,000 tons of tires, or 1.4 million tires, in a year. The sale of output material recovered carbon black (rCB) is a top revenue source for the company. Other output materials include pyrolysis oil and #2 busheling steel, which can be conveniently sold in the open market.
The company generates revenue in the form of tipping fees for its key raw material "waste tires." Ecolomondo Process Technology (EPT), a fully owned subsidiary, offers engineering services to the client, adding further revenue generation capabilities to the existing business. The company has seen an encouraging response in the initial phase of the launch.
Probable expansion into the United States represents a significant market to source feedstock and capitalize on output materials.
“Over the years, we spared no expense and cut no corners during the development of the Thermal Decomposition Platform.”
—Board Chairman, Chief Executive Officer Elio Sorella
In a stroke of luck 15 years ago, entrepreneur and business magnate Elio Sorella bought all the assets of Ecolomondo from cofounders and inventors of the company’s proprietary process, the late Richard Bouziane and Rodier Michaud. Shortly after, Sorella developed a team of technical experts, engineers, and investors that worked on refining the technology at their full-sized pilot facility located in Contrecoeur, Quebec.
“Over the years, we spared no expense and cut no corners during the development of the Thermal Decomposition Platform,” said Sorella, who is chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer of the company.
Each reactor in the pilot facility in Contrecoeur can handle 6.5 tons of tire waste in less than eight hours. The company, through intensive research and development over 10 years, was able to repeatedly validate and improve reactor payloads, cycle times, and production yields. The company has onsite lab capabilities and engineering ability to test and format their end products.
Today the company’s TDP technology can process end-of-life tires in an entirely circular fashion, turning them into recovered carbon black (rCB), oil, gas, steel, and fiber, producing end products in formats that are accepted by industry buyers.
“After many years of dedication, hard work, and investment, our technological teams were able to overcome all technological uncertainties associated with processing hydrocarbon waste. These technological breakthroughs now position Ecolomondo among industry leaders,” said Sorella.
At full operation, the Hawkesbury plant can produce 5,300 metric tons of recovered carbon black, 42,700 barrels of oil, 1,800 metric tons of steel, 850 metric tons of fiber, and 1,600 tons of syngas per year.
The flagship TDP facility in Hawkesbury contains state of the art automation systems not seen in any other tire pyrolysis plant worldwide. Plant operators are in place much like today’s commercial aviation pilots, for safety and troubleshooting. This ensures a consistent and quality product all while minimizing the risk of human error, inherent in many other pyrolysis operations.
“The Hawkesbury facility contains over 100 proprietary process improvements and trade secrets,” said Sorella.
The feedstock for the Hawkesbury plant is a mix of 20% light truck tires and 80% passenger tires. The tires are offloaded from transport trucks automatically and then pneumatically conveyed to the plant's shredding and crumb rubber processing department. End-of-life tires are processed by a primary shredder and then pass through raspers reducing the material to crumb rubber. After additional processing, the resulting crumb comes out 99% steel and fiber-free. Finished crumb rubber is conveyed and top loaded into a holding tank with enough capacity to hold five days' worth of production. It's then loaded into thermal processing reactors and recovered carbon black is vacuumed out the side of the reactor. Recovered oil and gas are separated and processed separately into syngas and high-quality marketable oil products.
Colby Mintram is the President of of Volt Strategic Partners.
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