In Youngstown, a downtown tire pyrolysis plant is called a ‘recipe for disaster’
James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News about an aged coal-to-steam plant in Youngstown's revitalized downtown that is set to undergo a transformation, with businessman David Ferro planning to utilize pyrolysis technology to turn old tires into fuel.
In a nutshell:
While Ferro envisions a cleaner energy future and economic benefits, opposition from local environmentalists and community leaders highlights concerns about toxic air emissions and potential health hazards. The proposed project, part of a broader push for "advanced recycling," aims to employ pyrolysis to address plastic waste and electronic waste, but critics remain skeptical about its safety and environmental impact, emphasizing the need for cautious consideration and robust regulation.
Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, described these processes as having “a huge carbon footprint” and said that “a good number of the chemical recycling (operations) today actually don’t recycle.” Instead, she said, companies are turning waste plastic into “very dirty fuels that can be burned off. And that is obviously not the way we want to go with climate change.”
The big picture:
The high-temperature decomposition process involved in burning tires can release a cocktail of pollutants, including harmful gases and particulates, posing risks to air quality and public health. The emissions from pyrolysis plants may contribute to respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, and other health complications, highlighting the need for stringent regulations and thorough monitoring to minimize the impact on nearby communities.
Read more at Inside Climate News.
Elizabeth Gribkoff reported last year that chemical recycling is growing - along with concerns about environmental impacts.