Tire particles are the second-largest microplastic pollutant in our oceans. Four students have come up with a solution to the issue, that earned them the prestigious James Dyson Awards.
Every time a vehicle brakes, accelerates, or turns, the tires wear down and tiny particles become airborne — producing half a million tonnes of tire particles annually (in Europe alone).
According to a statement from Imperial College London, the team’s winning device is fitted to the wheel of the vehicle and uses electrostatics to collect charged particles as they fly off the tire.
Based on results from their test rig, the group believes their prototype can collect 60% of all airborne particles from tires. Once collected, the fragments can be reused in new tires, or even in other materials such as ink.
The team is made up of four students from around the world: Siobhan Anderson, Hanson Cheng, M Deepak Mallya, and Hugo Richardson.