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Tire reclaiming Program
Every year in the United States and Canada, 350 million automobile tires are discarded, presenting a serious disposal problem. Scrap tires take up large amounts of space and are difficult to destroy. The unsightly mounds of tires are flammable and release toxic fumes when burned.

Missouri requires that all tires going to a landfill be shredded, with the end-product no larger than 6-inch chips. If they are discarded in larger sections, scrap tires do not disappear when dumped in landfills, but instead trap air that causes them to slowly push their way to the surface.

Energy potential
Chipped scrap tires with varying levels of wire and fabric still contained in the chips have a very high British Thermal Unit (Btu) value compared to other common energy sources. The following table compares the potential of rubber products with other energy sources:

Coke 13.7 Btu per pound
Wood 4.375 Btu per pound
Bituminous coal 12.75 Btu per pound
Subbituminous coal 10.5 Btu per pound
Lignite coal 7.3 Btu per pound
Rubber derivative 16.0 Btu per pound

Fuel for industrial and utility boilers
TDF (tire-derived fuel) requires users to have agreements on zoning, transmission access, construction and environmental applications from state and local authorities. Some utility companies that have tested or are burning scrap tires are:

• Illinois Power Company, Decatur, Illinois; Baldwin power facility
• Oxford Energy Company, Moapa, Nevada; Modesto, California
• Ohio Edison Company, Toronto Plant
• Uniroyal Goodrich, Eau Claire
• Wisconsin Power and Light Company, using cyclone-fired utility boiler
• Otter Tail Power Company, Big Stone City, South Dakota
• Monsanto Company, Wm. G. Krummrich Plant, Sauget, Illinois

Fuel for industrial and utility boilers
Recycled rubber is used in asphalt overlays on highways. A reclaimed rubber modified asphalt mixture improves stability, durability, reflective crack reduction and oxidation resistance. All of this adds up to a mixture with an indicated service life outlasting our conventional mixes. Construction procedures are similar to typical lay-down operations.

Tire retreading
Tire retreading and remanufacturing offers one of the best opportunities to reduce the number of tires requiring disposal. Tire type determines the future life of a tire. Radial passenger tires, unlike the bias tire, are not easily retreaded. New radials require retreaders to retool to state-of-the-art equipment. Generally, low-cost passenger tire imports cannot be retreaded.

Table 1
Various potential uses for scrap tires

Potential uses Advantages Disadvantages Marketable product
Artificial reefs Increases fish habitation; long life; ease of configuration. Costly to install; may move. Reefs.
Breakwaters Perform well; durable; low cost Limited number of tires used Breakwater.
Construction Perform well; low cost. Limited number of tires Retaining walls; erosion control; crash attenuation; structural fill material.
Crumb rubber Marketable commodity; reclaims raw material; marketable applications. High cost. Crumb rubber.
Rubberized asphalt Longer wear; noise buffer. Mixed test results; requires special equipment; not proven economical. Asphalt.
Sealants Proven effective. Limited number of tires used. Roof/road sealant.
Railroad crossings Proven effective; reduces supply. Limited number of tires used. Railroad crossings.
Sport surfaces Better surface; lessens impact. Limited number of tires used Running tracks; Playgrounds
Stampings Proven effective. Limited number of tires used; not economical; fragmented market. Dock bumpers; farm machinery rollers; pipe rollers.
Soil additives Improves soil quality; improves air circulation. Limited number of tires used; fixed sales for compost. Tire chips.
Sheet goods Proven effective. Limited uses; limited number of tires used. Floor mats, carpet pads; mud guards.
Molded products Wide variety of uses. Saturated market. Truck bed liners; pots, buckets, etc.
Tire retreading Historically proven; reduction of supply. Declining market. Retreaded tires.
Dedicated whole tire boilers Completely disposes tire; produces energy; appears environmentally clean. Long pay-back period; community acceptance; new boiler construction; requires large stockpile for continuous use. Energy.
Municipal Solid Waste/Waste to Energy (MSW/WTE) Reduction of supply; compatible with existing fuels; can boost Btu content. Limited use; tires may burn too hot; limited MSW/WTE facilities. Energy.
Pulp/paper plants Reduction of supply; compatible with existing fuels; can boost Btu content. Limited use in Illinois; increases air emissions; required stockpiles. Energy.
Utility boilers Reduction of supply; compatible with existing fuels. Requires stockpiles; increases air emissions. Energy.
Cement kilns Reduction of supply; compatible with existing fuels. Requires clean TDF. Energy.
Fluidized bed boilers Reduction of supply; compatible with existing fuels. Requires clean TDF; requires stockpiles; increases air emissions. Energy.
Pyrolysis Minimal environmental impacts anticipated. Unproven markets; requires stockpiles. Oil and combustible gas; carbon black.

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