In Youngstown, a Downtown Tire Pyrolysis Plant Is a ‘Recipe for Disaster’

"A developer has big ideas to turn tires, plastic and electronic waste into energy at 30 locations, starting with a tire-to-gas plant next to the jail and student housing in the heart of what was once Ohio’s Steel Valley."

"YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Stacks of red bricks and piles of busted concrete lie on the ground next to what remains of a century old coal-to-steam plant in this city’s reinvented downtown. Sheet metal covers large holes in the roof. Rusted pipes extend into the air. Front-end loaders and backhoes stand at the ready to continue to demolish and dig away at a remnant of the region’s robust industrial history.

Tapping into 19th century technology, the plant long provided steam through a network of underground tunnels to heat downtown buildings.

A new owner, a businessman named David Ferro from the Columbus suburbs, and his company, SOBE Energy Solutions, have visions of restoring that service and doing a whole lot more—but this time, using as much as 88 tons of old tires a day as fuel.

His plan would deploy another old but reimagined technology—pyrolysis, a centuries-old process for decomposing materials at high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment that’s been used for making tar from timber for wooden ships and coke from coal for steelmaking during the last century."

James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News August 7, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 08/08/2023