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By ABraxton on May 6, 2010 with 4 responses

Ill. Sen. Refuses to Classify Tire Burning as “Renewable Energy”

The Illinois Senate ruled that tire burning cannot receive renewable energy benefits.

A bill proposal that tire burning should be classified as renewable energy which passed through the Illinois House on Tuesday was rejected by the State Senate yesterday.

The Senate voted against the bill by a 26-17 margin.

“That is not renewable energy,” said Sen. Don Harmon, (D). “I think this is a backwards step.”

Geneva Energy, a tire burning facility in Ford Heights Illinois drew sufficient support from representatives in the House to put the bill up for the Senate vote.  Had the bill passed in the Senate, the company would have been eligible for State grants, low-interest loans and additional incentives.

Bill sponsor Sen. Mike Jacobs, (D), claimed that the wind and solar companies lobbied against the effort because they want to corner the green energy market.

The irony of a bill proposal that Geneva Energy should receive “green” benefits is that the company has been cited four times since 2006 for air pollution.  Additionally, the U.S. EPA is investigating whether Illinois violated environmental justice laws by permitting the incinerator to operate in a small village where more than 95 percent of the population is black and half live in poverty.

Senator James Meeks (D) defended the bill claiming that absent a classification change, the company may leave Ford Heights, which is “the last thing” the impoverished community needs. The tire burning plant is sited within Sen. Meeks’ district.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declined to take any position on the bill.

  1. By moiety on May 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I agree. Tyres are a reusable resource in remoulds just as steel is a reusable resource in recycled steel (recycled steel makes more than 80% of our steel consumption I believe).

  2. By Fact is... on May 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Conjurng up an image of uncontrolled tire fires with clouds of black smoke billowing into the air. … Nothing could be farther from the truth! Fact is, emissions would be well within all legal EPA standards and up to 10 times lower than those of coal-burning plants. while I realize the “wind lobby” is strong  in Illinois it should not make up facts that do not exist.

  3. By moiety on May 11, 2010 at 3:01 am

    I do not doubt that it can be done cleanly I just do not see the added value. Tyres have an energy content in the region of 1.25* coal (mass basis). That is not a lot considering the need for rewcovering the metal components (which will be degraded in the combustion process).

  4. By paul-n on May 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Moiety, the energy density is exactly where the value is.  At present there are very few, effective options for tyre re-cycling, but burning is a good one.  When the tyres are “crumbed” (chopped) a lot of the steel is separted.  The remainder will come out with the ash,degraded, but no more so than rusting scrap iron.

    If the tyre crumb is burned in a hi temp furnace like a pulp mill or cement plant, co fired with other fuel, it will be done cleanly.  I have seen a picture of it being used with wood in a downdraft gasifier – the hot charcoal completely cracks the tars.  Theoretically, you could have a car running on tyres!

    It is possible to “de-vulcanise” the rubber, but it takes more energy than making it new.


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