For years Lakin has furnished clean, properly sized, high-energy-content tire derived fuel (tdf) to cement kilns, power plants, industrial boilers and paper mills. Scrap tires are used as fuel because of their high energy value. TDF has an energy, or fuel value, of 12,000 to 16,000 BTUs per pound.
Lakin General understands the needs of energy producers and provides the service and products necessary to ensure the cost-effective operation of their power generating boilers.
Advantages to using tire derived fuel include:
- Tires produce the same amount of energy as oil and 25% more energy than coal
- The ash residues from TDF may contain a lower heavy metals content than some coals.
- Results in lower NOx emissions when compared to many U.S. coals, particularly the high-sulfur coals.
All uses of scrap tires as fuel must comply with federal, state, and local air emissions standards and must be permitted by the state and/or local regulatory agencies. Air pollution control equipment is often necessary to comply with air emissions regulations.
About 53 million tires per year are consumed as fuel in US cement kilns. The cement industry burns scrap tires as fuel in kilns used to make clinker—a primary component of Portland cement.
In 2001, 115 million scrap tires were used as fuel (about 40% of all generated) — up from 25.9 million (10.7% of all generated) in 1991. These tires are used by:
- Cement industry – 46%
- Pulp and paper mills – 17%
- Electric utilities – 16%
- Industrial/institutional boilers – 10%
- Dedicated tire-to-energy facilities – 12%
- Rubber Manufacturers Association, 2003
Pulp and Paper Mills
Over 19 million tires per year are consumed as fuel in boilers at US pulp and paper mills. Pulp and paper mills often supplement wood fuel with other fuels, such as TDF because of its high heat value and low moisture content.
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Nearly 18 million tires per year are consumed as fuel in boilers at electric utilities. In the electric utility industry, boilers typically burn coal to generate electricity. TDF is often used as a supplement fuel in electric utility boilers because of its higher heating value, lower NOx emissions, and competitive cost as compared to coal.
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Nearly 11 million tires per year are consumed in industrial boilers.
According to a Rubber Manufacturers Association survey in 2001, 16 industrial facilities were using TDF in their boilers to supplement their fuel usage. Industrial boilers are smaller than utility boilers and typically use a variety of fuels. When utilizing TDF, tires are typically shredded. Not all boilers are compatible with TDF. Clumping and clogging are common and preclude the use of TDF in many facilities.
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Dedicated Tire-To-Energy Facilities
Sources: Lakin, TRRAC, US EPA
Approximately 14 million tires per year are consumed as fuel at dedicated tire-to-energy facilities. A dedicated tire-to-energy facility is specifically designed to burn TDF as its only fuel to create energy.
According to a Rubber Manufacturers Association survey in 2001, only 2 dedicated tire-to-energy facilities were operating in the US The dedicated tire-to-energy facility, Exeter Energy Limited in Sterling, Connecticut burns mainly whole tires and consumes 10 to 11 million tires per year. This facility serves as a major scrap tire market for scrap tires in New York and northern New Jersey. The second dedicated tire-to-energy facility in the US is located in Ford Heights, Illinois and consumes approximately 3 million tires per year.
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