An Idaho tire recycler hopes to convince state regulators that its proprietary pyrolysis process can help the state reduce scrap tire piles and avoid future waste tire problems.
Integrated Resource Recovery L.L.C. has commenced a six-month demonstration project to prove that its technology works and is seeking regulatory approval to operate a full-scale tire-recycling facility in the state.
There are about 2 million scrap tires stockpiled in Idaho. The tire piles can be fire hazards and breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Integrated Resource Recovery's recycling plant could process up to 1 million tires per year.
The company is working with Idaho Waste Systems L.L.C. and will operate its tire recycling facility at Idaho Waste's Simco Regional Landfill in Elmore County, Idaho. Integrated Resource Recovery officials hope the test will convince the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to support permanent operations at the site.
``We are very excited to bring our technology here,'' said George Holroyd, environmental engineer and project manager for Integrated Resource Recovery.
Integrated Resource Recovery uses a tire pyrolysis recycling system that decomposes tires at a molecular level by superheating them in the absence of oxygen.
The method does not produce dioxins, odor, contaminated water runoff or harmful carcinogens, according to Roger Sramek, Integrated Resource Recovery's chief technical officer.
``It is not the burning of tires,'' Mr. Sramek said. ``Our methodology is supported by 11 years of development and refinement work and over four years of commercial operation in England.''
The process converts 100 percent of the waste tires into useful products, breaking them down into oil, steel, carbon black and combustible gases, which the company will sell or use to power the recycling facility.
Each tire will produce about one gallon of high-grade oil, 2.5 pounds of steel and nearly 8 pounds of carbon black, which manufacturers use to make rubber, ink, filtration media, plastics and other products. It takes about seven gallons of oil to make a new passenger tire.
The test facility will scrub air emissions and provide the DEQ data to ensure that it can comply with state and federal emission limits. Raw material recovery will lead to cleaner air on a larger scale, Mr. Holroyd said.
``The reduction in greenhouse gasses resulting from the reuse of manufactured materials is enormous,'' he said.