July 12, 2024

Argos to Get Bogota’s Used Tires for Antioquia Cement-Plant Combustion Fuel

Medellin-based multinational Grupo Argos announced April 11 that it just signed a deal with Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa to receive all 2.5 million of Bogotá’s used tires — which will be used as combustion fuel for the Cementos Argos cement plant at Rioclaro, Antioquia.

“Cementos Argos uses this [tire combustion] technique in its three cement plants in the U.S., at its plant in Honduras and since the first half of 2015, the Rioclaro plant,” according to the company.

“Now, as part of a joint effort, both Argos as mayor of Bogotá commit to work in partnership for the city to offer Bogotános a sustainable city with proper waste management.

“The problem of used tires in Bogotá, which generated a huge fire in 2014 with serious consequences for the environment, comes to an end” as a result of the new deal, according to the company.

The used-tire combustion process “is carried out in furnaces [with] special features that ensure complete destruction of toxic constituents and use of energy. In addition, special equipment installed for this purpose have excellent filtration systems and gas cleaning to ensure that the disposal of tires is made safe, controlled and cleanly,” according to the company.

“Currently in Colombia around 7 million [used]  tires are generated annually,” added Juan Esteban Calle, Cementos Argos president.

“Today in our plant at Rioclaro we have capacity to co-process 20,000 tons per year, equivalent to about 1.5 million tires. And with the investments we are making at our Cartagena [cement] plant, we project that in the medium term we will have the ability to dispose in total up to 65,000 tons per year, or about 4.5 million tires. In short, we will have capacity to provide 65% of the solution of this [used-tire disposal] problem in Colombia, initially in two of the nine [cement] plants we have in the country.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of used-tires in cement kilns as long as proper combustion and emissions controls are employed. Outside of the Americas, the cement industry also has employed used-tire combustion since the 1970s in several countries of the European Union, according to Argos.

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