Fuel-from-tires Effort gets Boost with New Standards

Washington, DC - The largest existing market for scrap tires should get a boost from recently approved standards established by a national testing body.

According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association's Scrap Tire Management Council (STMC), the standards should expand the use of tire derived fuel (TDF) by eliminating some of the final barriers to this scrap tire market sector.

The standards were approved by the American Society of Testing and Materials, (ASTM) after a two year process led by RMA's STMC, which conceived, coordinated and managed the process to set the TDF standards. ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services.

"While we had a leading role in working toward setting these standards, a number of others played very important roles," Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president, said. "Their input and comments were valuable and allowed us to create a standard that the entire scrap tire industry can use."

Among those who assisted in the development of the standard are Mark Hope from West Recovery West and Terry Gray from TAG Associates Additionally a scrap tire industry panel, consisting of Rick Colyar, Columbus-McKinnon Corporation, Rani Bahr from Greenman Technologies and Mary Sikora, from Recycling Research Institute reviewed the document.

"We are truly pleased that all our efforts have resulted in these important standards," said Mr. Blumenthal. "These standards should help reduce some of the final barriers to this market sector."

Tire-derived fuel was the first major market for scrap tires, which was first used by Dickerhoff Cement in Germany in the late 1970's. The first US use of TDF occurred in the late 1970s in the Northwest region.

Until 1992, TDF comprised the entirety of the marketplace for scrap tires. Over the last 10 years, TDF continues to be the largest single market for scrap tires. However, with the increase of other viable markets for scrap tires, the percentage of market share for TDF has been reduced.

Approximately 125 million tires are consumed annually as TDF. To date, scrap tires have been used in over 120 different applications across the United States. Of nearly 280 million scrap tires generated annually, about 71 percent are consumed in various market applications.

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