HomeTechnologyStronghold Digital desires to burn tires for gas, environmental teams strike again

Stronghold Digital desires to burn tires for gas, environmental teams strike again

In a transfer that’s sparked outrage from environmental teams, Stronghold Digital Mining is trying to proceed burning tires to gas its bitcoin mining knowledge middle in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. 

StateImpact Pennsylvania, a reporting mission of NPR member stations, reported on Stronghold Digital’s plans final Friday, which led to the Clear Air Council issuing a public rebuke on X, previously Twitter.

“We are calling on state regulators and [the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] with [Earthjustice] and [PennFuture] to deny a permitting request from Stronghold Digital Mining to burn tires as fuel for its bitcoin mining operations,” the non-profit wrote on Monday. 

Stronghold Digital instructed Blockworks that Pennsylvania-based environmental teams like PennFuture and Earthjustice “paint a really inaccurate picture.”

The Pennsylvania-based miner added that it already had a short lived allow from the state’s Division of Environmental Safety (DEP) to make use of tire-derived gas, in different phrases, power that’s produced by burning tire scraps. 

“The current application process with DEP is to obtain a permanent permit…to continue to burn the [tire-derived fuel] in the same manner and [in] limited quantity, given [that] several years of testing have proven no adverse effects,” an organization spokesperson instructed Blockworks in an e mail. 

Blockworks reached out to the DEP, PennFuture and Earthjustice for remark, however didn’t obtain any responses earlier than publication. 

However how dangerous would burning tires for gas be? To reply that query, let’s take a more in-depth take a look at what occurs when tires are melted down. 

In keeping with the US Environmental Safety Company (EPA), in uncontrolled tire fires, tires will break down into hazardous supplies together with “gases, heavy metals and oil.”

That’s not the top of it although, as a result of when burned, tires additionally produce emissions that comprise “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, styrene, phenols and butadiene.” Earthjustice additionally pointed this out in an Aug. 21 press launch.

Many of those chemical substances have the propensity to trigger most cancers in people. Benzene, particularly, has been definitively categorized as a carcinogen.

Stronghold Digital instructed Blockworks that random tire fires don’t mirror its operations. 

On the Nesquehoning location, dubbed the Panther Creek website, the corporate makes use of two circulating fluidized mattress combustors (CFBs) — a kind of boiler — to burn waste coal, a byproduct of coal mining, and tire scraps. 

In keeping with Science.gov, CFBs have been identified to utterly vaporize air flow air methane from the act of burning coal.

Stronghold Digital collects waste coal from polluted areas within the state with the assistance of the DEP, a spokesperson instructed Blockworks. That waste coal is then transformed into power that, partly, is used to mine bitcoin. A few of additionally it is transferred again to the grid.

Stronghold Digital desires to proceed restricted use of tire-derived gas, which it says accounts for lower than 7% of the burned materials at its 80 megawatt energy plant in Nesquehoning. 

Moreover, the EPA does in truth assist tire-derived gas as a substitute for fossil fuels. That’s as a result of tires typically find yourself in landfills, and in the event that they catch fireplace, that would result in much more disastrous penalties than if a 3rd celebration had burned them in a managed method.

“Disposal of scrap tires in tire piles is not an acceptable management practice because of the risks posed by tire fires,” the EPA wrote in a 2005 memo.

In a 2016 article, the EPA added that “it is better to recover the energy from a tire rather than landfill it.”

And within the DEP’s copy of a common allow for the disposal of tires, it lays out precisely how tires ought for use for power manufacturing.

“The permitted beneficial use of whole waste tires, tire chips, baled tires, tire shreds, and crumb rubber is limited to use in recapping, as fuel in boilers or other combustion units,” the allow acknowledged.

Up to date Aug. 30, 2023 at 3:24 pm ET: Extra context supplied by Stronghold Digital relating to operations at its Panther Creek website

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