FAQ: Waste Processing and Fuel

Q. What is the percentage of tyres to be used? Will this contribute to a toxic fume in the area? 

A.  The Facility has been designed to handle a fuel that is comprise of up to up to 15% of tyres. However, tyre use at the Facility is optional and not required for operation. It is assumed that the Facility would have to be permitted to handle and store Tyre waste, as is the case in the US. If so, the final decision on the use of Tyres will be up to the USEPA.  

       Tyres can produce more SOx per kg of fuel than other components of municipal solid waste. The Gortadroma facility has been designed with a great deal of excess capacity to remove SOx from the flue gas stream.  Our plant design strictly limits the use of tyres to approximately 10% - 15% of the total fuel stream. Given the limited used tyre stocks available, and their popular use as fuel in cement kilns, we fully anticipate that actual tyre use at Gortadroma will be something between about 2% and 5% or so - much lower than our maximum design percentage.

            If no tyres are available, then none will be used. Please keep in mind that tyres have a high calorific value and represent an excellent source of energy. Because they are so persistent in the environment once discarded, a clean and efficient means of final disposal is highly desirable. Properly designed and operated gasifiers are such a means of final disposal.

            The CEP design for the Gortadroma Plant will ensure that SOx emissions stay well below the health based regulatory limits as set forth by the Irish EPA, even if tyre use were to be as high as our design maximum of 15%. 

 

 Q. Will plastics and other renewables be gasified in this plant -  when they are currently being recycled quite effectively?

 

A.    With the implementation of the three bin waste collection system in Ireland, it is doubtful that we will receive much in the way of recyclable plastics (such as PET bottles, etc.). However, there will remain a significant amount of what is designated in Ireland and the UK as "plastic film". This includes plastic bags, polyethylene sheeting, and may eventually include clean plastic used for curing agricultural silage. We also anticipate some non-recyclable medium and high density plastic containers or fittings. (PVC plastic is not recyclable, but will not be used in the gasifiers because of its high chlorine content.)

            Depending on the amount of pre-sorting and mechanical separation that is carried out on the waste material before it is delivered to the Gortadroma Facility, we still expect that the total plastics content of the waste will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 8% - 9% by weight of the dry weight waste stream.

 

            As to other recyclable materials, all metals will be removed for recycling, as will all other recyclable inerts. Clean, dry cardboard that reaches the plant will either be recycled or gasified, depending on the going price for the recyclable materials.