MONTREAL-Tirex Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Tirex America Inc., garnered a financial boost when the Canadian government agreed to support development of its proprietary cryogenic scrap tire disintegration system-the TCS-1. On May 6, the Federal Office of Regional Development (Quebec) announced it would loan the company up to $500,000 (Canadian) to develop the system.
The loan terms are not to exceed $500,000 or 20 percent of Tirex's total development costs. The money will be repaid after Tirex produces a profit on its system, a company spokeswoman said.
The system freezes tires and breaks them down into two grades of clean rubber powder and clean unshredded steel and fiber.
While several modules of the entire system are already in the market, Tirex is focusing development on its proprietary disintegration chamber.
The company said the ``heart'' of the new technology is that it breaks down sections of tires without shredding or pulverizing the steel wires and fiber strands within the tire.
The system will use a two-stage cooling process to reduce refrigeration costs and will be able to process more than 1 million tires annually on a three-shift operation.
Tirex has a working prototype of its proprietary disintegration chamber which the company uses for demonstrations, the spokeswoman said.
The firm, which plans to make the equipment in Montreal, has a $14 million (U.S.) contract to sell eight TCS-1 systems to Ocean/Ventures III, by early 1997.
Ocean/Ventures of Toms River, N.J., is affiliated with Ocean County Recycling Center Inc., a solid waste recycler and landfill operator.
Tirex America of Clifton, N.J., formed Tirex Canada to complete the development of the first production model of the TCS-1 and to act as its manufacturing and marketing arm, the company said.
Tirex Canada President Terence Byrne said the company decided to locate in Montreal for several reasons, including the financial assistance that was available from the Canadian and Quebec governments to support new technologies and start-up operations.
The loan offer follows Tirex's receipt of the final portion of a grant of $36,800 (Canadian) on March 22 from the Quebec Ministry of Industry, Trade and Commerce for a feasibility study conducted by Techtran: Technology Transfer Institute of Montreal. The grant represented a reimbursement of 40 percent of Tirex's costs.
The Techtran study concluded that the scrap tire market has enormous potential for growth, especially the market for high-value-added applications which require fine, clean ground rubber.
Techtran study determined that the TCS-1 System will be capable of producing such a product and will have significant economic, environmental and technological advantages over competing systems, the company said.