Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Waste Tyres - Not Necessarily Anymore

We have been associated with some technology to use end of life tyres in civil construction.  It works very well and is described at www.ecoflex.com.au .

But more is happening in this space with a lot of success using tyres in steel making.

UNSW collaborated with industry partner OneSteel to develop ‘green steel’ technology, wherein old tyres and plastics provide a source of carbon to replace a significant proportion of the non-renewable coke used to make steel in electric arc furnaces.
The ‘green steel’ technology invented at UNSW has now achieved a major milestone, with its use in Australia preventing more than two million waste rubber tyres from ending up in landfill. The discarded tyres were used by OneSteel, an Arrium company to manufacture steel at its Sydney and Melbourne facilities.
UNSW Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla collaborated closely with OneSteel to develop the polymer injection technology.
Professor Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT@UNSW) in the Faculty of Science said they were thrilled to have surpassed the two-million tyre milestone. The achievement demonstrates the benefits of collaborations between researchers and industry.
Under an agreement with UNSW’s commercialisation company, NewSouth Innovations, OneSteel has sub-licensed the technology to companies in Thailand, South Korea and the United Kingdom and has plans to further commercialise it around the globe.
Daniel Miles, Manager Steelmaking Solutions at OneSteel observes that close collaboration between OneSteel and UNSW has turned an innovative idea into a manufacturing reality. He explains that polymer injection technology is not only good for the environment, but also offers financial benefits for the steel manufacturer in terms of reduced electricity consumption, lower carbon injectant costs as well as yield and productivity improvements.
Professor Sahajwalla is now working towards her goal of a 100 per cent recyclable car, developing high-temperature technology that can turn waste glass and plastic into valuable metallic alloys – an approach that could also be used to transform electronic waste.
Professor Sahajwalla was awarded $2.2 million earlier this year by the Federal Government to establish a ‘green manufacturing’ research hub at UNSW, with industry partners including Arrium, Brickworks Building Products, Jaylon Industries and Tersum Energy.
In August, Professor Sahajwalla was awarded a prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship worth $2.37 million.

This work is absolutely awesome and demonstrates how innovative thinking can solve BIG problems!

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