WILLIAMSON, N.Y.-Thermal Systems Inc. is seeking a permit to implement a new scrap tire processing technology that claims unprecedented cleanliness. The Williamson-based company expects to apply to the state for a permit to operate such a plant in Niagara, N.Y., by the end of the September, said Vice President George Caley. The company also is putting the finishing touches on a financial package it will present to Niagara officials.
The closed-loop technology, developed at the University of Missouri over a 15-year period, produces virtually no waste, Mr. Caley said. Whole or chopped tires are fed into three completely sealed 35-foot-long ovens. The ovens are fueled by radiant heat tubes containing the same gas the process releases from the tires.
About 30 percent of the total energy created is used to fuel the plant and the rest can be sold to any industrial user to generate power, Mr. Caley said. The carbon recovered from the tires can be sold in the secondary rubber market and the steel-about 2 pounds per tire-is sold on the scrap metal market, he said. The facility would process about 3.5 million tires per year.
In order to gain approval from the state, Thermal Systems must prove the process is clean, Mr. Caley said. Emission tests at Thermal Systems' prototype plant in Missouri showed emission levels to be only one-tenth of what is allowable under federal emission standards, he said.