Tire-derived fuel (TDF) is fuel derived from all kinds of scrap tires. It may include whole tires or tires processed into uniform, flowable pieces that satisfy specifications of end-users. Industrial facilities across the world, including cement kilns, pulp and paper mills, and electric utilities, use TDF as a supplemental fuel to increase boiler efficiency, decrease air emissions, and lower costs.
The global tire-derived fuel market was valued at US$ 342.4 Mn in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of more than 2.9% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new report titled ‘Tire-derived Fuel Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026’ by Transparency Market Research (TMR).
Recovery of energy from scrap tires is preferred over sending them to landfills. Scrap tires are used as fuel because of their high heating value. They are typically used as a supplement to traditional fuels such as coal or wood. Normally, tires need to be reduced in size to fit in most combustion units. Besides size reduction, the use of TDF may require additional physical processing such as de-wiring.
Rise in Demand for Tire-derived Fuel from the Cement Industry is driving the Market
Fuel prices are rising continuously, and there is no sign of relief in the near future. Demand for fossil fuel is high, and the fuel is still the leading natural resource used in cement-manufacturing facilities. The cement industry depends heavily on coal, coke, and oil to fire kilns, and it can consume as much as 300,000 tons of coal per facility per year. Currently, cement-manufacturing companies use tire-derived fuel (TDF) to supplement their primary fuel for firing cement kilns. The heating value of an average-sized passenger tire is approximately 13,000 to 15,000 British thermal units (BTUs) per pound, which is the same as that of coal. The major purpose of using tire fuel is to save on fuel costs. Moreover, high temperatures and long fuel residence time in the kiln allow complete combustion of tires. There is no smoke, odor, or visible emissions from tires. Furthermore, the metal wire present in the tire is used as a raw material or ingredient in the cement-manufacturing process. Each passenger car tire comprises about 2.5 pounds of high-grade steel. The steel portion of the tire replaces some or all of the iron required by the cement-manufacturing process. Due to all these factors, the demand for TDF in the cement industry is increasing continuously. In 2015, the U.S. consumed 39.16% of TDF for cement kilns, which increased to 46.43% in 2017.
Shredded Tires to Remain a Dominant Segment over the Forecast Period
Based on type, the shredded tire segment dominated the market in 2017. Using a series of shredders, screening equipment, and magnetic separation equipment, whole tires are reduced to two-inch pieces in order to produce TDF size chips. The shredded tires are largely used in cement plants, pulp and paper industry, utility boilers, and industry boilers among others.
Major Norms and Regulations Related to Tire-derived Fuel Market
Under the European Union Landfill Directive (2006), tires have been banned from being put into landfills. The directive introduced the ban on sending whole tires to landfills in July 2003. The ban on shredded tires came into effect in 2006. This directive encourages the re-use of waste tires. Moreover, specific federal rules have been promulgated by the EPA for facilities, such as cement kilns or utility boilers, which may use TDF. Any new facility or existing facility that proposes to use tires as a fuel source must comply with the air regulations set by the government. These include the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), found in 40 CFR Part j2.21 and Non-attainment New Source Review (NNSR), which is applicable for major facilities proposing to increase emissions of a regulated pollutant above a threshold annual quantity for attainment and non-attainment pollutants, respectively.
Highly Competitive Market with the Domination of Top Players
The global tire-derived fuel market is highly fragmented, with a large number of local and international players providing tire-derived fuel services. Leading players dominate the market. Key players operating in the tire-derived fuel market are Ragn-Sells Group, Liberty Tire Recycling, ResourceCo Pty Ltd., Lakin Tire West Inc., Renelux Cyprus Ltd, Emanuel Tire, Globarket Tire Recycling LLC, Tire Disposal & Recycling, Inc., West Coast Rubber Recycling Inc., Scandinavian Enviro Systems AB, Front Range Tire Recycle, Inc., L & S Tire Company, ETR Group, and Reliable Tire Disposal.