Navigation Links
Historic blaze fueled a boom in tire recycling, advances in fire monitoring

An historic tire fire 30 years ago that blazed on for nine months in the northwest Virginia Appalachians, releasing giant plumes of toxic smoke, sparked a recycling revolution and advances in fire-monitoring methods. The fire's environmental legacy is the topic of the cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Stephen K. Ritter, C&EN senior correspondent, explains that the massive fire left firefighters and government officials at a loss. They considered how to use every conceivable firefighting tool at their disposal to battle the unprecedented blaze, but they could see nothing was going to work. The fire had to burn itself out, creating an environmental disaster. When burned, tires release a number of harmful compounds, crude oil and metals that can be toxic to aquatic life. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added the site to its fledgling Superfund program, which aims to remediate an array of hazardous waste sites. About 20 years and $12 million later, the site was officially declared remediated.

In the meantime, tire use and disposal has only grown, but scientists, entrepreneurs and environmental managers have made considerable progress to stanch the rubber waste stream. About 45 percent of tire waste is now destined for shredding plants and is repurposed as mulch for playgrounds, fill material for road construction and plastics. Some of it helps power cement kilns and paper mills and is used to generate electricity. Chemists have also been inspired to find sustainable ways to reuse the rubber in old tires to make new ones rather than rely on virgin rubber. In addition to advancing tire recycling, the historic fire fueled progress in air monitoring techniques that help firefighters and local governments track pollutants from fires, and model and predict how blazes will behave in order to put them out faster.


Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Historic trends predict future global reforestation unlikely
2. Fostering community gardens in an area with historic soil contamination
3. Pottery residue reveals spice use in prehistoric European cuisine
4. Recovery of Hawaiian green sea turtles still short of historic levels, Stanford-led study suggests
5. University of Tennessee professor links massive prehistoric bird extinction to human colonization
6. CITES makes historic decision to protect sharks and rays
7. Statement by WCS president and CEO on historic CITES ruling
8. Illinois town provides a historical foundation for todays bee research
9. Prehistoric humans not wiped out by comet, says researchers
10. Analysis of Greenland ice cores adds to historical record and provide glimpse into climates future
11. Salk Institute awarded historic $42 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how cancer ... challenges in better using that knowledge to guide treatment ... children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling may ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric oncologist ... --> John M. Maris, M.D ., ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until ... from 17 th until 19 th November ... has invented the first combined scanner in the world which scans ... Until now two different scanners were required: one for passports ... on the same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that ... Board of Directors. --> ... retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one of ... over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and led ... the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Dr. Bruce ... Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service ... , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or ... financial results for the quarter ended September 30, ... Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial Reporting ... ," said Andrew Rae , President ... iCo-008 are not only value enriching for this ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital ... and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , ... win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl ...
Breaking Biology Technology: