Tire-derived fuel (TDF) and rubber-modified asphalt will see the biggest expansion as materials received thanks to tire recycling, John Sheerin of U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) claimed.

Nevertheless, the commodities constantly face unsteadiness of the markets. However, Sheerin said that TDF is blessed to get several platforms for trade where it can be of a good value.

Every year, scrap tires show differing statistics as a result of changing numbers of waste tires generated. If we compare reports from 2017 and 2013, the figure in the latest report is 81.4% and the second one is 95%, which totally demonstrates the difference.

In 2017, the number of generated tires escalated by 4% making it over 4 million tons.

During the same year, TDF was seen as the main market for waste tires making up 43% of the total volume.

Sheerin noted that there has been a decrease in demand of TDF caused by certain economic aspects in a range of sectors, although, there is a steady demand growth for the product in cement industry.

In addition, the transforming rubberized asphalt technology promoted the wider use of the sustainable material in spite of its previously poor reception after the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), which actually led the US government to taking a stance against rubberized asphalt.

Nevertheless, the trend is now different as the new innovations have been used since, Sheerin noted.

In 2017, waste tires were widely used in development of ground rubber products with matting, cans, landscaping and playground mulch still being quite popular.

Playground mulch had received controversial treatment in 2015 as a result of environmental anxiety, which have now “pretty much died down”, highlighted Sheerin. In 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency will present its research, which is expected to completely eradicate the anxiety.

In 37 states, it is a regulated practice to charge a fee when each tire is purchased to provide funding for waste tire reduction efforts and to promote recycled rubber products.

Nevertheless, approximately 60 million stockpiled waste tires are still reportedly kept in the United States. By contrast, in 1991 (the exact time when USTMA launched the waste tire reduction program), the US had 1 billion stockpiled tires.

According to USTMA’s representative, waste tires can be widely used and precious rubber materials are of high demand in many industries.

It is expected that by 2048, Group Michelin will process 100% of the tires it owns and will apply recycled materials, the content of which in final products will be no less than 80%.

Article by Tire Business