SUGAR CREEK, Mo. (Nov. 17)—Lafarge North America has postponed slightly its plan to burn whole tires as fuel in its cement kiln at Sugar Creek while it modifies the insertion point for the tires, said Steve Kidwell, plant manager at Sugar Creek.
In most cases the steel belts of tires are consumed in cement kilns and become part of the product, but in a test run at Sugar Creek the belts became "a big hairball" hampering the process, according to Kidwell. He said he expected the change to be made this winter and a permanent tire-burning kiln to be set up by next summer.
Lafarge North America—which already uses tires as fuel at six kilns in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington, according to a Rubber Manufacturers Association report—expects to replace 20 percent of the coal it uses at Sugar Creek with tires, burning an estimated 1.2 million tires annually.