The CEA, Michelin, Protéus (PCAS Group) and SDTech join forces to develop two innovative uses for used tires

The Tire Recycling or TREC project, driven by Michelin, is designed to develop two uses for used tires. The first, TREC Regeneration, involves regenerating rubber compounds to make new tires, while the second, TREC Alcohol, will enable the production of a chemical intermediate needed to synthesize raw materials used in tire manufacturing. The alcohol derived from used tires will be included in the BioButterfly butadiene production project alongside biomass alcohol from such sources as sugar, wood and agricultural waste.

TREC Regeneration

SDTech and Protéus are sharing their respective know-how with Michelin in micronization and selective devulcanization using biotechnologies to create a micropowder that can be used as a raw material in the production of new high-performance tires.

TREC Alcohol

Leveraging the strategically related skills and expertise of the projects’ partners, TREC covers all stages of research and development processes, from the definition of scientific concepts to pilot testing and validation on an industrial demonstrator.

TREC is backed by a €51 million budget extending over eight years. France's Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) will provide €13.3 million to Michelin and SDTech as part of the French government “Investing in the Future” program.1

In light of the growth forecasts for the global tire market, demand for raw materials will increase considerably in the coming decades. As a result, the deployment of new solutions for using used tires comes at a particularly good time.

By reincorporating recycled materials from used tires in new tires on an industrial scale, the technologies developed by the TREC project will enhance levels of expertise in France by developing a circular economy in synergy with existing channels.

Michelin’s innovation strategy consistently focuses on making the best possible use of raw materials. The TREC project is a perfect example of ecodesign, and it will help us make new high-performance tires using quality raw materials from used tires, thanks to the shared expertise of the CEA, Protéus and SDTech

Terry Gettys, Director of R&D at Michelin

“Since it was founded in 1998, Protéus has become a benchmark in industrial biotechnology for sustainable development," commented Juliette MARTIN, CEO of Protéus. “We are very pleased to be able to leverage the industrial power of the micro-organisms in our collection and of the enzymes and bio-processes we’re developing to help further Michelin’s sustainable mobility strategy.” 

“As an innovator in the area of micro-powders, SDTech has always been ready to contribute its knowhow to collaborative projects in France and internationally,” said Jalil BENABDILLAH, Chairman and CEO of SDTech. “SDTech is honored to be participating in the TREC project with such a prestigious group of partners and to see its R&D expertise recognized at this level. We know that we must remain effective and consistently innovative to live up to Michelin's expectations."

“We are pleased to provide Michelin with our expertise in gasification processes. CEA teams have the capabilities to design, engineer and carry out thermo-chemical processes from the very beginning and with our support, Michelin will be able to validate its technological choices,” concluded Florence LAMBERT, Director of the CEA’s Liten Institute.

1 Under a specific program to encourage projects focused on waste collection, sorting, recycling and re-use. 




Michelin, the leading tire company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing and marketing tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles/motorcycles, earthmovers, farm equipment and trucks. It also offers electronic mobility support services on and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in more than 170 countries, has 113,400 employees and operates 69 production plants in 18 different countries. The Group has a Technology Center in charge of research, development and process engineering, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia.

Protéus (a member of PCAS Group)

Protéus is a biotechnology company specialized in the design, development and implementation of safe, competitive, innovative and sustainable industrial processes using enzymes and microbial strains. To fulfill this mission, Protéus benefits from a portfolio of proprietary technologies including a collection of exclusive microbial biodiversity, technologies for enzymes engineering and microbial strains optimization, and a platform of enzyme production and formulation to turn them into industrial tools. A member of chemical group PCAS, Protéus also benefits from the industrial capabilities and expertise of the group. Founded in 1962, PCAS is an international fine and specialty chemicals group that shares an ambition for excellence with its customers. PCAS operates eight industrial sites and has 900 employees, of whom 10% are involved in R&D.

SDTech (Solides Divisés Technologies)

SDTech is an industrial company specialized in contract micronization, analysis and treatment of ultrafine powders. SDTech offers technical services in such areas as micronization, milling, sieving, mixing, granulation, formulation, custom analysis, assessment and training. Backed by a high level of scientific and technical know-how, SDTech deploys a multi-sector approach and provides customized technical support. Its services range from the analysis of powders to ongoing training and include customized production, recommendation of solutions and deployment at customer sites. SDTech leverages a portfolio of innovative solutions to respond to each customer’s specific issues in compliance with a quality charter and project confidentiality. The company has developed a technological platform concept that it shares with partners to develop innovative projects.

CEA - Liten

The French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) is a public research organization operating in four main areas: carbon-based energy, information and healthcare technologies, very large-scale research infrastructures (TGIR), and defense and global security. Drawing on its widely acknowledged technical expertise and excellence in fundamental research, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners. With 16,000 researchers and employees, the CEA plays a leading role in the European research community and its international presence is constantly growing.

Based mainly in Grenoble and Chambéry (INES), Liten (Laboratoire d’Innovation pour les Technologies des Energies Nouvelles - Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies) is one of Europe’s most important centers for research into new energy technologies.