London – A group of students from Imperial College London have developed a device to collect tire wear particles from vehicles, the university announced 4 March.
The patented “Tyre Collective” device is fitted to the wheel and uses electrostatics to capture tire particles which are produced when vehicles brake, accelerate or turn a corner.
A prototype of the instrument has collected up to 60% of all airborne particles from tires, under a controlled environment on the test rig, the university report added.
Once collected, the fragments can be reused in new tires or other materials such as ink.
To demonstrate this, the Tyre Collective team have printed their business cards using ink made from collected tire dust.
The World Health Organisation estimates that outdoor air pollution causes 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year.
Tire-wear, according to Imperial College, accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions.
The particles have also been blamed for micro-plastic pollutant in oceans, along with single-use plastic.