American Recycler

Tire-derived fuel now in greater demand

Higher energy costs are driving demand for tire-derived fuel (TDF) across parts of the country, especially along the Gulf Coast into parts of the South Atlantic states.

“In part of the country, we’ve seen a very significant spike in the use of scrap tires as fuel,” said Michael Blumenthal, senior technical director at the Rubber Manufactures Association. He said the TDF market from Texas through Florida up to Virginia is basically sold out. “I’ve talked to a number TDF sales people and they can’t get enough supply. There is more demand for TDF than availability of TDF,” he said.

Blumenthal, who tracks the scrap-tire industry for the Washington D.C.–based rubber products trade association, said the main factor behind the demand is the rising cost of more traditional fuels. Also, the southern part of the country has a strong pulp-and-paper industry and there are a significant number of cement kilns in the region.

Pulp-and-paper mills consume a lot of energy. Mills often supplement wood fuels, which vary in heat values and moisture content, with other fuels such as coal or oil to stabilize operations. The mills use de-wired tires to avoid clogging the feed system.

The cement industry also burns scrap tires as fuel for its kilns, which are basically large furnaces.Some kilns are able to use whole tires, instead of using tire chips. The removal of steel from the tires is often unnecessary since kilns need iron for part of the process.  Read more...


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