Tire wear causes up to 1,000 times more particulate matter than combustion engines. An understated problem, according to four students from a British start-up. They have developed a device that can be attached to car tires and can collect the most wear and tear.
Tires are wearing out, just ask Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. During this process, the microplastic particles end up in the air, water, and eventually in the food on our plates. Previous studies have shown that the amount of corrosive dust emitted from car tires is 1,000 times higher than that emitted from diesel or gasoline engines.
Four students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art have founded UK-based start-up ‘The Tire Collective’ to solve the problem of tire wear, the ocean’s second biggest polluter with microplastics – after plastic that can be disposed of in bottles and bags. Tires are made not only of rubber, but also of plastic. “In Europe alone, emissions exceed half a million tons per year in sea and air,” said Tire Collective co-founder Hanson Cheng.
The students came up with a device that could be attached directly to the car tires of the car. The device uses static electricity technology and airflow from the spinning wheel to absorb the pollutants that are mainly emitted from those tires. The fine dust is collected in a container and can then be recycled to produce ink and dyes, or for new tires and shoe soles. The device prevents up to 60 percent of harmful particles from reaching the road surface – and thus into the environment.
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