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BURNING RUBBER: U.S. TECHNOLOGY WILL CHANGE TIRES TO ENERGY IN BRITAIN

BURNING RUBBER: U.S. TECHNOLOGY WILL CHANGE TIRES TO ENERGY IN BRITAIN
 GLEN ELLYN, Ill., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- American waste-to energy technology is making tracks for Britain's first tire-fueled electrical power plant.
 Combustion systems developed and patented by Basic Environmental Engineering Inc., Glen Ellyn, Ill., have been selected for a new $80 million British facility, being developed by American-owned Elm Energy & Recycling (U.K.) Ltd. in Wolverhampton in England's West Midlands region. Construction began in April and should be completed by fall 1993.
 The plant will burn whole tires to produce steam to drive electrical generators. Residual materials like zinc oxide and steel wire will be recycled. The facility will be one of the "cleanest" power plants in Europe, according to Elm Energy.
 The multi-stage combustion systems are being manufactured overseas by Basic Environmental Engineering's British licensee, Basic Energy U.K., Ltd., part of Blue Circle Industries, PLC.
 Basic Environmental Engineering, a closely held, private company headed by John N. Basic Sr., doesn't disclose the value of licensing agreements. The suburban Chicago company is furnishing engineering drawings, special parts, and technical assistance to Basic Energy U.K.
 Elm Energy is 95 percent owned by NIPSCO Development Company, Hammond, Ind., and 5 percent owned by Performance Services Corp., Hebron, Conn.
 Elm Energy plans to burn some 10 million car and truck tires annually, about half of the U.K.'s annual scrap tire accumulation, and generate 25 megawatts of electricity for sale to the local utility company. The plant has a minimum design life of 20 years.
 The Wolverhampton plant will use five of Basic's Model 7000B solid waste boiler systems rated at 78 million Btu per hour each. Each system is fitted with an advanced dry scrubber that captures particulates, acids, and metal fumes.
 "The technology of Basic Environmental Engineering was chosen for this project because of its capabilities for burning difficult waste, and especially whole tires," said Thomas Steiner, NIPSCO Development's project manager for the Elm Energy venture.
 "In particular, Elm Energy was impressed with the reduced emissions and the possibility of recovering and recycling all combustion byproducts when Basic's equipment was combined with a suitable cleanup system," Steiner said. "Basic's established record of performance with various wastes helped Elm secure project financing and reassure environmental authorities. This technology incorporates all the fundamental principles of complete combustion," Steiner said.
 Basic Environmental Engineering's system begins with an electromechanical ram loader that pushes whole tires into the furnace. The furnace has a steel "membrane water wall," made up of water tubes welded at the fins, that covers the sides and ceiling. The water tubes capture usable energy and prevent excessive flame temperatures to protect equipment and minimize the formation of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and vaporized metals.
 Basic Environmental Engineering's unique "Pulse Hearth" stoker shuffles waste in solid form through the furnace, allowing more complete burning through enhanced mixing of fuel and air. The "Pulse Hearth" is a suspended, refractory-lined brick floor in a step configuration, with air jets along the steps. The furnace has no internal, moving metal parts to be damaged by intense heat or jammed by tire debris. Gentle stoking, optimized furnace geometry, and precise air control prevent flammable tire particles from being carried off in the flue gas to other parts of the system.
 Hot flue gas from the furnace passes through two additional combustion zones which destroy pollutants, resulting in exceptionally low emission levels.
 Disposing of tires is a worldwide environmental problem: They do not decompose, they can catch fire, and they serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
 Basic Environmental Engineering's U.S. track record in burning tires began eight years ago at a Firestone plant in Decatur, Ill., which produces 20,000 pounds of steam per hour. The facility earned Basic an environmental engineering award from Power magazine.
 Basic Environmental Engineering already has one of its patented solid-waste boilers operating in England, burning hospital medical waste, producing steam, and generating electrical power. The company says four more medical solid-waste boilers are under construction in England; three will produce steam, the fourth will generate hot water.
 To date, 145 of Basic Environmental Engineering's waste-energy systems are operating worldwide, 15 of them overseas. Basic was founded in Illinois in 1970, shortly after the U.S. Clean Air Act came into force, to meet a need for modern, clean-burning waste combustion systems that can also generate steam, hot water, or electricity.
 NOTE: "Pulse Hearth" is a trademark of Basic Environmental Engineering, Inc.
 -0- 8/14/92
 /CONTACT: John N. Basic Sr., or John P. Cieslak of Basic Environmental Engineering, 708-469-5340/ CO: Basic Environmental Engineering Inc. ST: Illinois IN: OIL SU:


SH -- NY037 -- 9982 08/14/92 11:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 14, 1992
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