«ԱՄ-Էսկա» ՍՊԸ-ն ստեղծվել է 2013 թվականի

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From tires to alternative fuel

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The decomposition of a tire buried in the ground can take from 100 to 300 years. Tire dumping has been prohibited in many developed countries for quite some time. However, in Armenia, approximately 18,000 tons of used tires are generated annually. Sadly, the majority of these tires are either incinerated in greenhouses, buried in landfills, or disposed of in other inappropriate ways, posing environmental and health risks.

Over time, discarded tires become breeding grounds for rodents. The chemicals released from tire decomposition are known to induce carcinogenic tissues in rodents, posing a potential health threat. Alarmingly, these same hazardous substances can be produced in the human body if tires are burned or left to decompose in landfills. Research conducted by the German International Cooperation Company (GIZ) as part of the ECOserve program revealed that in various communities across Armenia, including areas like Gyumri, tire burning persists, especially in makeshift stoves. This practice further exacerbates environmental pollution and health risks for local residents.

Despite the legal prohibition outlined in the RA Law "On Waste" against disposing of tires in landfills, many individuals disregard this law due to inadequate enforcement. Moreover, the absence of dedicated facilities for industrial waste, especially used tires, exacerbates the issue.

In Armenia, around 7,700 tons of tires originate from passenger cars, while an additional 8,000 tons are generated from trucks and public transport annually. These discarded tires are predominantly found in areas surrounding transportation and industrial facilities, as well as in car service centers and municipal solid waste landfills.

The recognition of used tires as 4th class hazardous waste underscores the importance of their proper management and recycling. Recycling these tires not only addresses a significant environmental challenge but also contributes to global efforts towards sustainability. Prior to 2014, little attention was paid to the disposal of scrap tires in Armenia. It wasn't until Davit Karamyan and Vahan Gharibyan, inspired by international practices, took the initiative to establish a tire recycling business in the country.

Davit Karamyan

"Before conceiving the idea for the factory, Vahan and I worked at a company specializing in recycling plastic bottles. Witnessing the distressing sight of landfills across Armenia, we were motivated to give used tires a 'second life.' Our vision extended beyond merely addressing an ecological problem; we were keen on producing alternative fuel," explains Davit Karamyan, the deputy director of the factory.

The factory, situated in the city of Abovyan adjacent to residential areas, operates without emitting any smoke from its roof. This is made possible by employing the pyrolysis method for tire recycling, which prevents the release of gases and toxic substances into the atmosphere. "AM-Eska" LLC efficiently produces cheaper fuel from the recycling of used tires. The resulting cylindrical coal "briquettes" offer numerous benefits: they are energy-efficient, emit minimal smoke, and serve as valuable fillers in the manufacturing of rubber, paints, tiles, concrete products, and bricks.

"AM-Eska" LLC has made significant strides in its operations, processing over 5 million kilograms of tires and 500 tons of other waste. Initially receiving only diesel fuel until 2015, the company now focuses on producing alternative fuels.

Furthermore, the company also obtains high-calorie liquid fuel oil, which offers remarkable efficiency. Approximately, one liter of this fuel oil can replace around 1.8 cubic meters of gas, further underlining its value as an alternative energy source.


In addition to tire recycling, "AM-Eska" is committed to processing used motor vehicle oils. This effort is crucial because if left untreated, just one liter of oil can contaminate up to a million liters of water. By responsibly managing and treating used oils, the company plays a vital role in mitigating environmental pollution and safeguarding water resources.

Pyrolysis technique without combustion

"Our tire cutting scissor-shaped device, designed by us, operates using the pyrolysis technique, ensuring tire decomposition without combustion. This specific tire weighs 2.5 tons, but we handle even larger ones, up to 4.5 tons, sourced from Armenian mines. Our collaboration extends to multiple mining companies, where we've influenced them to initiate sorting of used oil and filters. We process these materials as well, transforming some into liquid fuels and repurposing others," explains Davit Karamyan.


The process begins with the large tires being cut into 40-centimeter pieces using a specialized scissor-shaped machine. These pieces are then loaded into a rotating reactor, where they undergo heating through the combustion of natural gas or fuel oil. Once a specific temperature is reached, hydrocarbon gas is released from the tires. Additionally, vapors of oil products are extracted, condensed, and cooled before being directed into storage facilities.

tires reactor

Following the reaction, the reactor undergoes a gradual cooling process. Steel wires and carbon dust, also known as technical carbon, are extracted from the reactor before unloading. "The pyrolysis method, devoid of oxygen heating, is an age-old technique known for its environmental safety; it does not release harmful substances into the atmosphere, thanks to filtered gas exits," explains the deputy director of the company. He personally spearheaded the design of crucial components such as the reactor burner, gas compressor, and tire cutting machine. Unlike oxygen burning, pyrolysis does not generate dioxins or other toxic substances, making it a paramount consideration for the company.

Unregulated sector
The company collects used tires through its own channels and transports them to its premises for sorting and storage. During this process, careful consideration is given to the composition and structure of the tires, which informs the selection of the appropriate processing method for further treatment.

David Karamyan highlights the collaborative relationship between waste producers and management organizations, drawing upon foreign experience. He underscores the importance of established standards and efficient mechanisms in waste management practices. While Armenia has a Law on solid waste that delineates specific obligations and guidelines for waste producers, Karamyan notes that significant aspects remain ambiguous or unaddressed.

David Karamyan asserts that the onus of waste management primarily falls upon the consumer. He observes that people tend to act based on convenience, often leading to indiscriminate disposal of garbage. However, to incentivize responsible behavior, Karamyan proposes a symbolic payment system for waste disposal. For instance, every negligent citizen is required to pay 500 drams annually, with this amount progressively increasing to 1,500 drams over time.

In Armenia, a protective duty is imposed on consumer goods, with the urban population contributing taxes for various services such as transportation, water filtration, and the maintenance of water pipes. Additionally, taxes are levied for the transportation of used motor oils. However, David Karamyan questions the allocation of these funds, which currently go towards the construction of schools and roads. He suggests establishing a committee or institution tasked with impartially distributing these protective duties, channeling them towards industrial waste processing enterprises. Karamyan believes that this approach would not only enhance waste management efforts but also foster the growth of waste processing companies in the country.

David Karamyan shares insights from a collaborative study with American universities, which yielded technical aerosols via the pyrolysis method following a nitrogen reaction, boasting a five percent increase in effectiveness against harmful gases. Despite this promising development, Karamyan reveals encountering challenges when seeking support from the Ministry of Transport. The Ministry proposed a gradual approach, suggesting the creation of proprietary equipment with the expectation of eventual results after a few years. Karamyan's comments reflect frustration with bureaucratic delays, especially amidst urgent needs such as those faced by defenseless patients in hospitals.


David Karamyan advocates for government oversight over product usage and processing. He believes that if companies import items like batteries that are challenging to decompose and pose risks to the environment, the state should hold them accountable by providing information about the associated damages and imposing a fee for their proper disposal. However, Karamyan laments the absence of such measures, indicating a lack of proactive action from the government in enforcing responsible waste management practices by companies operating in Armenia.

The company supplied 40-50 Kamaz tires to frontline positions during both the April four-day war and the 44-day conflict. Additionally, since 2016, tires have been regularly provided to two military units in Yerevan, which are then distributed by the Ministry of Defense to various locations as needed. This contribution underscores the company's commitment to supporting the military and ensuring operational readiness during times of crisis.

Davit Karamyan acknowledges that the company has accrued significant loans, indicating that the production operations do not fully offset its expenses. He suggests that if such enterprises were profitable, more would have been established. However, Karamyan emphasizes that the issue extends beyond financial concerns; it's also about the long-term consequences and costs associated with waste accumulation in landfills. With landfill sites expanding daily and emitting foul odors, Karamyan underscores the importance of addressing environmental impacts alongside financial considerations.