It is a growing problem for many countries around the world: used car tyres piling up as authorities struggle to find effective disposal solutions. Heating and power plants can help solve the problem by burning tyres and other solid materials, creating energy for use in households and industry, including cement production.
New Zealand’s Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Eugenie Sage, recently signalled that the government’s priority work programme for waste will include a greater focus on product stewardship for end-of-life vehicle tyres, with New Zealanders throwing away more than 5 million tyres every year. This follows earlier efforts by the government to tackle the issue of tyres, with private companies invited in 2015 to put forward applications to the Waste Minimisation Fund for environmentally sustainable solutions for end-of-life tyres.
The cement industry is well-positioned to make an impact. Many cement producers around the world have been successfully replacing fossil fuels with alternative solid fuels – including vehicle tyres – as an energy source. Not only does this practice reduce a plant’s carbon foot print, but it also minimizes energy costs.
Reducing environmental footprint
Fletcher Building, one of New Zealand’s largest companies, is participating in the program. Specifically, Fletcher Building will install an FLSmidth Hotdisc® Combustion Device at its Golden Bay Cement plant in Portland in the north of New Zealand.
Local media reported that substituting rubber biofuels for coal will reduce CO2 emissions by 13000 t/a, or the equivalent of emissions from 6000 cars. Once the FLSmidth Hotdisc is fully operational, the kiln will consume up to 3.1 million shredded tyres a year, replacing the need for over 15000 tonnes of coal.
Cement production process boost
The installation at Golden Bay Cement is a success story in every way and points to significantly growing demand. Carsten Damslund Jensen, Global Product Line Manager at FLSmidth noted that the FLSmidth Hotdisc is experiencing a boom in many parts of the world, especially in China.
“Whereas we previously experienced a market demand of one or two units a year, we are now projecting the sale of 10 units in 2019,” he says, adding, “It’s not only a good business case for cement producers and other energy-hungry industries, but also good news for the environment.”