HM ENERGY MEXICO: “CONVERTING POLLUTION INTO A SOLUTION”

30 million tires in Mexico are discarded per year and this volume is expected to grow to 50 million by 2020. But lucky for us there is an environmentally positive solution! The team from HM Energy found and developed a process to convert those pollutant waste tires into valuable commodities like cleaner diesel fuel and carbon black char. We had the opportunity to speak with Israel Magana about his future goals and journey within HM Energy. 

THE BEGINNING

“We have a small lab with three people in Monterrey who are scientists and work in terms of innovation to see what kind of possibilities there are to convert waste into raw materials. The came across waste tires: Worldwide, 1.35 Billion scrap tires are generated but only nine per cent of them are being recycled. Basically  91% of them are just lying around, dumped on landfills or in some cases burnt by cement companies, which is very bad for the environment due to the toxic gasses. 

We discovered we could convert the waste material into three different products: low carbon emitting diesel substitute (cleaner form of diesel), carbon black char and steel of tire. Some of the products can even be sold back to the tire production industry.”

CHALLENGES

“The permit application process to be able to start with the hydro carbon process pilot plant turned out to be long and bureaucratic. Getting funding to scale the production as soon as possible is difficult as well. Our company is based on constant innovation, however, innovation doesn’t always feel like a milestone. You do little steps every day and then look back after 6 months, realizing the amazing achievements and difference you have made. 

Our raw material plant has to produce 24/7, which is quite a challenge for a small company as ours, but we are up for it! We are super proud of the team of people we have put together. They are always willing to go the extra mile. To date 50,000 tires have been converted to more than 190,000 litres of diesel substitute.”

SCALING UP

We are planning to scale in Mexico at the moment, our two main goals to have a bigger impact are to shift the recycling rate in Mexico from 9 to 22 % and produce clean and affordable energy for everyone, the Seventh Sustainable Development Goal set by the UN. We are serious about energy cleaning.

We want to achieve 15 million litres of green fuel a year and avoid 38.000 ton of CO2 equivalent emissions every year. Right now we are one tenth of that, but we are planning to get to the next level with 10 ten more plants.“

 

This article is one in a series presenting finalists from previous editions of the Accelerate2030 global scaling program. The third edition of the program in currently in the national scale-readiness phase and the international finalists will be selected at the end of August. The international finalists will be present at the Impact Hub Geneva and the SwissSustainable Finance week from the 4th until the 11th of October.

https://geneva.impacthub.net/hm-energy-mexico-converting-pollution-into-a-solution/

 

The article was originally published 8/10/2017 on the blog of Impact Hub Geneva and is written by Marlou Dahmen.