12 October 2010

When the rubber meets the paper mill

The provincial government ships used car and truck tires to Quebec where they are burned.

Operators at the province’s last remaining paper mill is considering using tires as a source of fuel in its operations.

Here are two points to consider right off the top, taken from the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s web page on tire-derived fuels.

First of all, burning isn’t the optimum. It’s the fourth use of out a list of five:

EPA supports the highest and best practical use of scrap tires in accordance with the waste management hierarchy, in order of preference: reduce, reuse, recycle, waste-to-energy, and disposal in an appropriate facility.

Second of all, paper mills require tires that have a large amount of processing before they are used as fuel:

The main problem in using TDF in the paper industry is the need to use de-wired tires. The wires often clog the feed systems. Also, the mills sometimes sell the resulting ash to farmers who require the ash to be free of iron. De-wired TDF can cost up to 50 % more than regular TDF.

Let the discussion being.

- srbp -