Part 3 Tire Pyrolysis – The Dangers That Are Inherent as Part of a Tire Pyrolysis Plan


This document is part of a three-part series to discuss the waiver granted to the Auston company to build a combustible tire processing plan in a densely populated residential area that could impact residents from White Marsh and Kingsville to Aberdeen and Havre De Grace – an estimated 73,000 resident.

Part 1 covers out recommendation to Barry Glassman to reverse the waiver given the pyrolysis plant and to address the issue of stockpiled tires.

Part 2 deals with issues with the Harford County Zoning Appeal

Part 3, this section, deals with the dangers of tire Pyrolysis plants.

What is Pyrolysis?

  • The reduction of anything by ashes via incineration in a combustible environment. This is a relatively new and unproven technology.

What are synonyms to the word Pyrolysis?

Synonyms from the power thesaurus ( include: Combustion, Gasification, Blazing, Burning, Incineration, Calcination, Cineration, Cremation, Scorching, Self-Immolation, Suttee, Blistering Smelting, Oxidation, Distillation.

What are the Dangers of Tire Pyrolysis?

Three websites highlighted the dangers involved with pyrolysis:

  1. IPEC – The International Power Ecology Company
  • URL:
  • This site states: “the hazards of pyrolysis process arise from the releases of toxic gases and explosions. Hydrocarbons released from the pyrolysis reaction are highly flammable. Under the sufficient heat and oxygen, an explosion may take place.”
  1. Intelligent Energy Europe
  1. Agile Process Chemicals LLP
  • URL:
  • This page lists the dangers involved with pyrolysis plants:
  • This page of their website states that: “100s of workers, operators and investors have died in such batch type tire plant due to explosion or accident. Given below is the detailed chart that explains the accident risk involved in batch tire plant.”

Here are the dangers listed on their site:

Faults in batch tire plants Hazard and Risks
·       Lack of efficient pollution control equipment ·       The facility emits huge quantity of suspended particulate matter in air. There is powder carbon lying everywhere in the facility and around the facility.
·       There is no Gas Handling System to store and burn toxic pyrolysis gas ·       The excesses pyrolysis gas is released in the environment causing emission issues

·       This is hazardous to human health

·       Spreads bad smell around the industry

·       Manual temperature control of reactor ·       Mistakes by operator can lead to overheating and reactor explosion

·       Under heating of reactor leads to plant insufficiency

·       Required highly vigilant and experienced manpower

·       Wrong selection of material of construction for reactor manufacturing. ·       Reactor metal damage due to direct heating and opening of welding joints

·       Reactor metal damage leads to explosion within 2 years.

·       Manual carbon removal from reactor ·       Workers look like black monkeys

·       Carbon particles accumulate in the lungs of workers affecting their health and causing numerous lung diseases

·       Spreads toxic carbon through the plant

·       Reactor needs to be opened for removing carbon. There is no provision that ensures 100% prevention of accident due to carbon catching fire. ·       Most of the fire and accidents in batch tire plants happen due to opening of reactor when inside carbon is above 100 Degree Celsius.

·       Every day, during reactor door opening there is danger of explosion and accident

·       Frequent clogging of reactor vapor line ·       Reactor vapor line gets clogged due to bitumen produced in the reaction and needs to be cleaned every 2 to 3 days.

·       In case vapor line gets completely clogged, it leads to massive explosion and life hazards.

·       Unpredictable pressure built up in reactor

·       Tiny and insufficient size of reactor safety pressure release systems ·       Safety pressure release system of reactor never works

·       Adds to health hazard in case of high reactor pressure

·       Lack of gas burner system ·       Heavy black smoke from chimney

·       Gas back fire leading to worker skin burns and accidents


  • In many cases, the hazards associated with the pyrolysis process arise from the releases of toxic gases and explosions. Hydrocarbons released from the pyrolysis reaction are highly flammable. Under the sufficient heat and oxygen, an explosion may take a place.

Are there any other dangers involved with this pyrolysis plant?

Yes, there are two other dangers or concerns:

  1. Fire Safety: There is the danger that the county lacks the facilities and expertise to deal with the type of accidents and fires that could result at such a plant. We are now dealing with dangerous petroleum and carbon – Hydrocarbon and Hydrogen Sulfide emissions. These are extremely dangerous and need to be handled much differently than a regular fire.
  2. Traffic congestion. Years ago, a dump in this area was closed due to heavy traffic volume. When this operation began, per their website, Auston had only one truck. Now a permit is being granted for 16 inbound tractor trailers daily and three outbound oil tankers for a total of 19 heavy duty trucks traveling down route 7 and onto Mountain Road Daily. In addition, there are expected to be an additional 25 employees traveling down route 7 and Mountain road as well.


If a previous garbage plant was closed due to congestion, why isn’t the proposed congestion for this plant being researched?


This document outlines the many dangers that 73,000 citizens of Harford County and Baltimore County could face with the tire pyrolysis plant planned on the Auston facility which is close to Mountain Road and Route 7. These dangers include explosion and deadly emissions emitted into our air, ground, and water. In addition, the implementation of this plant would pose challenges for our fire safety crews and cause issues for traffic.

Obviously, the most important dangers are the dangers related to the pyrolysis process itself.

I call on our County Executive Barry Glassman to rescind the waiver his zoning department gave to Auston Transfer & Processing LLC.


Bud Hines

Concerned Harford County Resident and Candidate for the President of the Harford County Council


Donna Hines

Concerned Harford County Resident and Candidate for the Maryland State Senate District 7