Thanks to research by Professors Francesco Picchioni and Ton Broekhuis of the Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen of the University of Groningen, a method has been developed with which rubber from old tires can be reused in new products. The companies New Born Rubber and FP Products Holding are now further developing the concept with the input from the researchers of the University. A test installation will be constructed and product technology will be developed. It has been awarded a substantial subsidy of more than €1.3 million.
The growing piles of used car and bicycle tires constitute a worldwide environmental problem. Up to now, there is no technology for recycling the hard rubber of these old tires and using it in high-quality applications. That is why piles of old tires are often incinerated, causing massive environmental damage to the climate.
In the laboratory, the collaborating partners found a solution in which vulcanized rubber is largely broken down by applying high pressure. The result of this process is a new and elastic rubber that can be converted to raw materials and new products on a large industrial scale. Moreover, making tires into a circular end product can make an essential contribution to solving a major environmental problem.
New Born Rubber will build test facilities and develop the technology for processing old car and bicycle tires into new end products. It is expected to generate employment in the region and a large increase in turnover for the companies involved. The project has been granted a substantial subsidy of over € 1.1 million by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The province of Groningen will also contribute € 248,000. Francesco Picchioni will remain involved in the follow-up research.
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