WASHINGTON (Sept. 7, 2001)—The American Society for Testing and Materials has issued the first-ever industry standard for tire-derived fuel (TDF).
An ASTM standard should eliminate some of the barriers against acceptance of TDF as a supplemental fuel, according to Michael Blumenthal, vice president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association and executive director of the Scrap Tire Management Council.
“This helps raise scrap tires to the level of a commodity,” said Mr. Blumenthal, the moving spirit behind the effort to achieve a TDF standard. “It not only levels the playing field, but takes the playing field to a higher level.”
What the TDF industry really needed to achieve acceptance, according to Mr. Blumenthal, was “a more refined chip—smaller, more consistent, more steel removed than in the past.”
The STMC, he added, was the only organization within the scrap tire industry with the time and money to develop such a standard.
Sizing and wire content were the crucial elements in the new standard, according to Terry Gray of Houston-based TAG Associates, who helped in the two-year effort to develop it,
“Some applications are very sensitive to these features,” Mr. Gray said.
The ASTM document sets a suggested standard size for TDF chips of no more than 2 inches in length, according to Mark Hope of Waste Recovery West, Portland, Ore.
Mr. Hope was another who served on the committee to develop the standard. A size of two inches or less works in most existing combustion units and solid fuel units, Mr. Hope said.
“Deviation may be acceptable if the specific combustion unit can accommodate it,” he said.
TDF use began at Dickerhoff Cement, a German firm, in the late 1970s, according to an Aug. 15 RMA press release about the ASTM standard.
Approximately 125 million scrap tires annually are used as TDF.