New energy from old tires

Reducing emissions in the cement industry with innovative technology

Cement production is very energy-intensive, and the manufacturers of this indispensable building material aim to use the cheapest energy sources possible. Traditionally, these have included old tires. But burning the tires directly in the cement kilns produces a variety of environmentally harmful emissions and is barely feasible now due to stricter legal standards and the more advanced technology of the kilns.

Valuable feedstock

The US-based firm PRTI has a patented technology that employs thermal processes to turn car tires into valuable raw materials and energy sources such as carbon, oil and steel. Cement producers can use the fuels generated in this process to operate their kilns while meeting the legal standards. In addition, the process helps repurpose millions of tires that are newly produced each year but are rejected in quality control – up to 10% of total tire production – and use them as an inexpensive energy source. Bilfinger is supporting PRTI in bringing this technology to Europe. The engineering experts at Bilfinger Tebodin have redesigned and adapted the process to meet the strict European standards for occupational safety and environmental protection. Bilfinger’s key contributions included developing process control configurations to continuously monitor and control crucial parameters such as temperature and oxygen levels as well as to minimize the risk of loss of primary containment. And the Bilfinger team also suggested design changes to increase the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of PRTI’s plants.

Bilfinger Tebodin’s engineering expertise helped us to redesign the technology to meet the strictest Dutch standards, thereby making it accessible to customers in Europe.

Kees Onstein, CEO, PRTI Europe

published in issue 04.2019

Further articles from issue 04.2019