Dear Readers,

Month by month, our weibold! Academy series dwells deeper into the world of tire recycling and highlights different sides of running this business. In case you have missed our previous articles, you can find the links at the end of this post.

Basics about tire-derived fuel

Given Canada’s ongoing debate over tire incineration and its less advantageous position when compared to shredding, we want to shed some light on the basic advantages of tire derived fuel.

Production of tire-derived fuel (TDF) is not a new phenomenon. For instance, in Japan 92% of waste tires are used as TDF, and as for the US, approximately 40% of its stockpiled waste tires are used as fuel annually. Numbers in Europe are very similar and estimations range from 35 to 40% of ELT used as fuel and about the same range for recycling.

The problem that waste tires serve perfect breeding ground for diseases spread by mosquitoes, as well as rats, fuels the need to eliminate stockpiles and recycle tires using any means possible. Moreover, waste tires are prone to burn for months and thereby cause additional environmental and health problems.

However, tires can be successfully used as fuel, as they have high calorific value. 12,000 to 16,000 BTUs are produced by tires when they burn. In contrast, coal creates maximum 12,000 BTUs and severy pollutes environment. 5000 BTUs per pound is produced by wood, but this resource is rather expensive and suing causes massive deforestation. TDF is considered cost-effective and more environment-friendly compared to fossil fuels. Huge problem of stockpiling tires is that they may ignite on sun when they are stored on landfills. Their burning creates a lot of heat, and the smoke poses threat to people residing close to stockpiles.

However, that doesn’t mean there is no critics to TDF. Unregulated tire fire results in ground and air contamination. According to detractors, the sulphur, which is a byproduct, gets into the atmosphere. However, they indicate that tire-derived fuel emits similar sulphur content or even a lower concentration compared to coal.

It is necessary to balance the previously mentioned environmental issues with the point that the accumulation of tires will remain. Industrialized countries that are switching to more environment-friendly policies. Economies which rely on vehicles and transportation services, will need to burn or recycle those used tires. Many of developing economies, second and third world nations would benefit from burning TDF instead of using coal or other fossil fuel. One of the major consumers of TDF is cement industry. Today, ever more developing countries around the world switch their cement production to TDF. One of the best examples is Egypt: the country designed a program which urges to use municipal solid waste as industrial fuel and significant portion of it is composed of TDF.

Currently, United States and Europe are world leaders in innovative ways of tire recycling. Annually, the U.S. recycles tremendous amounts of tires, and it also applies TDF to substitute fossil fuels which harm environment. Tire rubber is a high-quality material that can be reprocessed into various goods many times. It is possible to use this rubber as insulation, remold it and apply it in civil engineering projects, including rubberized asphalt. When some of those products come to an end-of-life stage, it is possible to recycle them to create other products, used as additives, or transformed into energy.

Using waste tires as TDF can support economies incapable of meeting their demand for fuel and energy. 35% of used tires in the U.S. are being successfully recycled, but the bulk of waste tires in the country is used as TDF. The increase of that percentage can be beneficial for the States and different nations with potentially high energy demands. Using tire-derived fuel, these countries can gain a novel reserve for energy and mitigate CO2 emissions and air pollution.

To find out more about TDF, tire recycling, recycled rubber applications, collection programs and safety requirements for tire recycling facilities, send us your inquiry to robert@weibold.com. Please contact us to request more information on this topic. We will be happy to help you build a flourishing tire recycling and pyrolysis business!

Links to our previous newsletters:

  1. Welcome to weibold! Academy
  2. weibold! Academy: Recycled Rubber Output Spectrum and Rubber Granulates
  3. weibold! Academy: Rubber Granulates, Rubber Powder, Tire Derived Steel and Tire Derived Fiber
  4. weibold! Academy: Tyre Recycling Value Chain
  5. weibold! Academy: Applications for Tyre Recycling Plant Output
  6. weibold! Academy: Rubber Granulate Applications
  7. weibold! Academy: Rubber Powder Applications – Rubber Industry
  8. weibold! Academy: Rubber Powder Applications – Surface Coatings
  9. weibold! Academy: Success Factors in the Tire Recycling Industry
  10. weibold! Academy: Understanding Tire Recycling Technology
  11. weibold! Academy: Total Quality Management in Tire Recycling
  12. weibold! Academy: Applications for Fibers from End-of-Life Tires
  13. weibold! Academy: Safety and health effects of crumb rubber infill in artificial turf
  14. weibold! Academy: Tire pyrolysis – products and applications
  15. weibold! Academy: Tire-derived fuel in cement production
  16. weibold! Academy: How to improve tire collection in small cities
  17. weibold! Academy: How to prevent tire fires
  18. weibold! Academy: Recycled tires in railroad construction