Can burning tires be a "green" industry?

Geneva Energy's Illinois factory burns tires to generate electricity

Geneva Energy's Illinois factory burns tires to generate electricity

An Illinois factory is seeking to become designated “green”. Thing is, they burn shredded old tires to generate electricity.

Geneva Energy LLC had been hoping the Illinois legislature would approve a proposed bill that would allow it to be added to the state’s list of renewable energy sources. Tires were, they reasoned, what they termed “reusable resources” – resources that were out there and although not really renewable, were plentiful enough.

Illinois senators,  however, didn’t agree, defeating the measure last night in a 26-17 vote.

The bill’s sponsor in the Illinois House, Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood), said passing this measure would help keep jobs in the town of Ford Heights and allow Geneva Energy LLC to apply for tax credits and grants afforded to wind farms and solar energy producers. The town currently has an unemployment rate of 29 percent.

Old tires have definitely become a resource for enterprising companies to transform into something useful. And job creation is definitely critical, especially in an area with such high unemployment.

How do you readers weigh-in on this issue?


One Response

  1. If not somehow stabilized, old tires will eventually oxidize into carbon dioxide, whether they are first converted into oil, or burned for their energy content to produce electricity or not.

    Liquifaction or incineration of old tires can be carried out, IMO, without undue local environmental impact, but the process would have to be carefully designed and operated. I speak as a retired Chemical Engineer.

    Alternatively, perhaps the tires could alternatively be shredded and converted into some type of construction material or aggregate.

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