The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA report on Scrap tire October 2011) estimates ~300 million waste tires are generated in US annually. With an average weight of ~22.5 pounds per tire, this generates a very large volume of waste tires and the larger problem of what to do with them. IRR’s process consumes these waste tires otherwise destined for land-fills and burning, and ‘constructively’ uses them by ‘upgrading’ and recovering valuable raw materials and sources of energy.
IRR’s ‘Sustainability Value’ can be characterized as follows:
1. Consumption of end of life tires thereby keeping them out of landfills
- With ~300 million used tires generated annually, about 6 billion pounds of ‘waste’ is created.
- Of these 300 million waste tires generated, ~60% are disposed of in ‘non-constructive applications’ – land-filled or burned as TDF.
- IRR’s process consumes those waste tires and transforms them into valuable raw materials and energy products, resulting in a significant reduction in the quantity that are land-filled or burned.
2. Reduction of CO2 generation vs conventional carbon black
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is classified as a ‘greenhouse gas’ as it traps energy in Earth’s atmosphere.
- Conventional carbon black production generates ~2 pounds of CO2 per pound of carbon black produced.
- IRR’s process generates ~0.2 pounds of CO2 per pound of recovered carbon black produced.
- This results in a significant ~90% reduction of CO2 generated per pound of carbon black produced.
3. Reduced consumption of oil to produce carbon black
- Conventional carbon black is typically produced from fuel oil – a product of petroleum refining.
- Anywhere from 1.6 to 2.2 pounds of ‘fuel oil’ are consumed to produce one pound of carbon black.
- Since IRR Black is produced from end of life tires, substitution of IRR Black for conventional carbon black reduces the demand/consumption of oil needed to produce carbon blacks.
4. Production of oil and gas products in IRR process, further reduces the demand for petroleum and gas from natural sources
- Because IRR’s process generates oil and gas, the supply of energy products is augmented, thereby reducing the demand for these products from natural sources – typically crude oil and natural gas.
- Approximately 1 gallon of IRR Oil is recovered from every scrap tire IRR processes.
5. Potential remediation of existing landfill sites that are loaded with scrap tires
- In the United States there are a number of existing ‘tire mono-fill’ landfill sites where tires have been disposed of over many years.
- The opportunity to ‘mine’ these sites and extract the tires, creates an opportunity not only to recover the raw material and energy products but also to recover the land fill space.
- This creates the options of either (i) returning the site to a more natural state, or (ii) re-using for landfill again, reducing the need for additional, incremental real estate to be used for landfill purposes.