Scrap Tyre Derived Fuel Market Consumed 56 Per Cent of Generated Tyres

United States: According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, in 2013 end-use markets consumed 95.9 per cent by weight of the scrap tyres generated in the country.

As the organization states, this is a remarkable growth from ten per cent of scrap tyres consumed by markets in 1990. The total volume of scrap tyres consumed in end use markets in the U.S. reached approximately 3,666 thousand tonnes of tyres. RMA estimates that about 3,824 thousand tonnes of tyres were generated in the U.S. in 2013.

It should be noted that since 2011 the percentage of scrap tyres consumed by markets increased 12.9 per cent, while the volume of tyres utilized increased by about 418,000 tonnes. Key findings show a dramatic reduction in scrap tire stockpiles from one billion stockpiled tyres in 1990 to 75 million stockpiled tyres in 2013. Positive end-use market results in 2013 were primarily the result of higher rates of tyre derived fuel (TDF) use and lower scrap tyre generation. TDF accounted for about 2,129,000 tonnes of scrap tyres in the U.S. in 2013, or about 56 per cent of the total scrap tyres generated. Due to increasing fuel prices and improvements in the quality and reliable delivery of TDF, this market is anticipated to experience strong demand in the immediate future. Past history has shown this market has room to grow. TDF is used by the pulp and paper industry and the cement industry as a supplemental fuel due to the high caloric requirement. Industries using tyres as fuel conform to federal, state and local environmental laws and employ emission control devices.

The market for ground rubber applications consumed 975,000 tonnes of scrap tyres, or about 25 per cent of the volume of scrap tyres generated. Ground rubber applications include new rubber products, playground and other sports surfacing and rubber-modified asphalt. The civil engineering market consumed 172,000 tonnes of tyres in 2013, about five per cent of the total tyres to market and consists of tyre shreds used in road and landfill construction, septic tank leach fields and other construction applications. Additional smaller markets exist which consume approximately four per cent of annually generated scrap tyres. These markets include tyres consumed in electric arc furnaces (steel manufacturing), professionally engineered tyre bales and products punched, pressed or stamped from scrap tyres. “Ongoing scrap tyre management efforts in the U.S. have been tremendously successful,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Tyre manufacturers have worked across the nation to help establish effective state scrap tyre management programs, often funded by user fees on tyre sales, to enforce regulations, clean up tyre piles and promote environmentally sound, cost-effective markets for scrap tyres. The numbers tell the story: The effort is paying off in a cleaner environment.”

Photo: EU-R Archive