Cox Enterprises is a communications and automotive services conglomerate headquartered in Atlanta. The company’s Golden Isles Conservation Center in Nahunta, Georgia, removes tires from the waste stream and breaks them down to their original components using Italian pyrolysis technology. The process utilizes organic materials such as wood chips to generate heat, breaking down tires, and producing synthesis oil, carbon black, synthesis gas, and steel.
Cox Enterprises learned about pyrolysis from an employee who worked for the automotive division and heard about the technology during a trip abroad. He shared the information with the company’s engineers, which led to the creation of the Golden Isles Conservation Center. Cox Enterprises partnered with the Italian company Piromak and the technology’s inventor to bring the technology and equipment to the United States.
By repurposing materials, the Golden Isles Conservation Center can remove the equivalent of five tons of tires from landfills and waterways daily. The synthesis oil can be used as a substitute for many fuel-based products. The recovered carbon black can be used in products such as rubber hoses, inks, tires, and plastics. Steel is the most recycled material on the planet and can be reused in new products. The synthesis gas generates heat for the closed-loop process.
Although other companies utilize pyrolysis, Cox Enterprises has a proprietary design. The technology creates a highly efficient closed-loop process and includes a filtration system to remove harmful particles from the exhaust stream, according to the company. The exhaust stack removes heat and water vapor from the process.
Cox Enterprises seeks to send zero waste to landfill by 2024 and become carbon- and water- neutral by 2044. The Golden Isles Conservation Center has the capacity to remove 80,000 tires from landfills and waterways each year – equivalent to the number of tires handled at the company’s automotive auctions.