We have always known vehicles with an internal combustion engine to produce tailpipe emissions which contribute to air pollution, and noise pollution by way of engine noise. Sure, an electric vehicle may cancel those two sources of pollution but there is one source of pollution which stays ignored be it an ICE vehicle or an electric vehicle. We are talking about tyre pollution! Yes! Every time a vehicle plies on road, a tyre releases microscopic particles which form up to 50 per cent of air particulate matter emission (PM) from road transport. In fact, tyre wear is the second biggest pollutant of our ocean after single-use plastic. The particulate matter also becomes airborne and affects our lungs and eventually enter the human food-chain through waterways.
This is where a company called 'The Tyre Collective' comes in. It is London-based startup, found by students from Imperial College London and Royal College of Art and it makes a device which can trap these particles at the source, which will help reduce air pollution from tyre wear. The device draws power from the alternator of the vehicle and the cartridge inside can be replaced once the vehicle is due for service.
The science behind this device is that the carbon present in rubber tyres gets charged as wear and tear happens and these charged particles get trapped in the device which fitted close to the tyre, keeping in mind the airflow around a spinning wheel. The device built by 'The Tyre Collective' captures close to 60 per cent of airborne particles. The start-up is currently working on a closed-loop model which means that the collected fragments, especially particles with a size lesser than 50 microns can be used for manufacturing new tyre walls and other applications.
The Tyre Collective is in talks with a global car manufacturer and a couple of tyre manufacturers to in a bid to develop a research partnership and make a few devices for real-world test applications. The company hopes to enter a pilot programme in the next few years.
Source: The Tyre Collective