LOUISVILLE, Ky.-TIRE BUSINESS wraps up its formal coverage of the 38th annual ARA World Tire Conference & Exhibition with the following items of news, gathered in workshops, seminars and on the trade show floor.
Rubber TEchnology sees global scope
Rubber Technology Inc., a scrap tire processor that opened a plant late last year in Roberta, Ga., is part of an organization with a global outlook and plans to recycle tires into a variety of ``value-added'' products.
Using technology developed in the Netherlands, Rubber Technology is establishing plants to produce crumb rubber of consistent high quality. In addition to its U.S. production, the company planned to open a plant in Germany by late April, followed by a second in August and one in India early in 1996, according to Jacques Lejeune of its Dutch engineering unit, Rubber Technology Engineering
The company also is investigating opportunities in Israel and Malaysia.
At the same time, through a subsidiary called Polymer Creation, Rubber Technologyis supporting research into the development of innovative rubber/plastic compounds, with the eventual goal of producing
a variety of molded/extruded products, according to Andrew Beaston of the U.S. operation.
According to Mr. Lejeune, the advantages of a global set-up include economies of scale and ease of transfering technology. ``Rubber crumbing will become very expensive,'' he predicted, ``and only the lowest-cost producers will survive.''
The company will be market-driven, responding to customers' needs, Mr. Beaston said.
``We need to be seen as a sound raw material supplier,'' Mr. Lejeune added, ``not a subsidized recycler.''
New England TDF supply tops demand
Though the use of scrap tires for fuel may be growing in other parts of the country, in New England, consumption of tire-derived fuel appears to be leveling off, and the current supply is more than adequate to meet the demand without any additional capacity expansions.
That's the view of Tom Flaherty, vice president of coal marketing for Sprague Energy Corp., a major supplier of fuel-including TDF-to the region's pulp and paper mills.
Speaking at a workshop on ``progress in TDF and asphalt markets,'' Mr. Flaherty estimated the installed TDF production capacity in New York and New England at 90,000 tons per year, compared with likely demand inthe region of 70,000 tons per year.
Utility boilers in the Northeast are not good candidates for TDF use, Mr. Flaherty said, as they tend not to have the necessary pollution control equipment to burn tires and comply with the new Clean Air Act amendments.
Pulp and paper mills, on the other hand, are good candidates, he said, as TDF improves combustion of the mills' biomass and sludge and is cheaper than coal on a Btu comparison.
The TDF must be in 1-inch nominal chips and free of all bead wire and about 75 percent of the belt wire.
The first test burn of TDF by a New England paper mill was in 1990, he said, and by 1994, five mills were on line. Two have since discontinued TDF use: one due to combustion problems; one because of high zinc content in the ash.
The remaining three mills are likely to continue their TDF use, Mr. Flaherty said, though concerns remain over disposal of high-zinc-content ash, possible wear/erosion of boiler parts and compliance with air quality standards.makes molded goods
Canadian recycler makes molded goods
Shercom Industries Inc., a new tire recycling company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is producing a wide variety of molded products from ground scrap tire rubber.
According to President Shawn Hermanson, the company is using technology and developing ideas generated by Harold Moen of Magnum Industries Ltd. in Regina Saskatchewan to turn out products ranging from fencing, to highway barriers and cones, to manhole collars-and many others.
Diverse Environmental Products Inc. in West Sacramento, Calif., is distributing Shercom's products in the U.S. and has developed a special label to indicate their scrap tire origins.
New York City is evaluating a Shercom-made rubber base for street signs, Mr. Hermanson said.