ERJ staff report (DS)
Waurn Ponds, Victoria, Australia -- Deakin University has said more about the tyre recycling project being commercialised by VR-TEK.
â€œWhat we have developed is a significant breakthrough in tyre recycling that is superior to the current practices of shredding and burying tyres in landfill, burning tyres or recycling them into low quality materials of limited use,â€ explained Deakin research engineer Chris Skourtis. â€œWe now have a technology that is far better than any other tyre recycling processes,â€ said Skourtis.
The Deakin researchers, led by Professor Qipeng Guo, developed a small scale facility at the University's Waurn Ponds Campus to test and refine the recycling technology developed and patented by VR TEK Global.
â€œFirst, the tyres are segmented in a way that allows for each part to be treated differently which eliminates impurities and results in a higher quality end product. For example, the steel reinforcement in the tyre is separated without fragmenting, which is not common in current tyre recycling.
â€œWe have then created an efficient means of devulcanising and activating the tyres into rubber powders for recycling into rubber products.
â€œWe have also developed a way of using ozone gas to activate the rubber powder which makes it more compatible with other materials. This extends the usability of the powder for producing a wider range of rubber and plastic products than currently possible.â€
This breakthrough in tyre recycling technology is the result of four years of research and development between VR TEK Global and CSIRO and Deakin University. The project has been funded by the Federal Government (via the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre) and the Victorian State Government (through the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing).
In 2012, VR TEK will take the technology into commercial operation.
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Press release from Deakin University