Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Turning food waste into tires

07.03.2017

Eggshells, tomato peels add strength to sustainable rubber

Tomorrow's tires could come from the farm as much as the factory.


Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a patent-pending technology for incorporating food waste into rubber.

Photo by Kenneth Chamberlain, courtesy of The Ohio State University

Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century.

In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications for rubber.

As Katrina Cornish explains it, the technology has the potential to solve three problems: It makes the manufacture of rubber products more sustainable, reduces American dependence on foreign oil and keeps waste out of landfills.

Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Biomaterials at Ohio State, has spent years cultivating new domestic rubber sources, including a rubber-producing dandelion. Now she has a patent-pending a method for turning eggshells and tomato peels into viable--and locally sourced--replacements for carbon black, a petroleum-based filler that American companies often purchase from overseas.

About 30 percent of a typical automobile tire is carbon black; it's the reason tires appear black. It makes the rubber durable, and its cost varies with petroleum prices.

Carbon black is getting harder to come by, Cornish said.

"The tire industry is growing very quickly, and we don't just need more natural rubber, we need more filler, too," she explained. "The number of tires being produced worldwide is going up all the time, so countries are using all the carbon black they can make. There's no longer a surplus, so we can't just buy some from Russia to make up the difference like we used to.

"At the same time," she added, "we need to have more sustainability."

That's why she and her team are getting eggshells and other food waste from Ohio food producers.

"We're not suggesting that we collect the eggshells from your breakfast," Cornish said. "We're going right to the biggest source."

According to the USDA, Americans consume nearly 100 billion eggs each year. Half are cracked open in commercial food factories, which pay to have the shells hauled to landfills by the ton. There, the mineral-packed shells don't break down.

The second most popular vegetable in the United States--the tomato--also provides a source of filler, the researchers found. Americans eat 13 million tons of tomatoes per year, most of them canned or otherwise processed.

Commercial tomatoes have been bred to grow thick, fibrous skins so that they can survive being packed and transported long distances. When food companies want to make a product such as tomato sauce, they peel and discard the skin, which isn't easily digestible.

Cindy Barrera, a postdoctoral researcher in Cornish's lab, found in tests that eggshells have porous microstructures that provide larger surface area for contact with the rubber, and give rubber-based materials unusual properties. Tomato peels, on the other hand, are highly stable at high temperatures and can also be used to generate material with good performance.

"Fillers generally make rubber stronger, but they also make it less flexible," Barrera said. "We found that replacing different portions of carbon black with ground eggshells and tomato peels caused synergistic effects--for instance, enabling strong rubber to retain flexibility."

"We may find that we can pursue many applications that were not possible before with natural rubber," Cornish added.

The new rubber doesn't look black, but rather reddish brown, depending on the amount of eggshell or tomato in it. With doctoral student Tony Ren, Cornish and Barrera are now testing different combinations and looking at ways to add color to the materials.

Current Ohio State doctoral student Jessica Slutzky and former master's student Griffin Michael Bates participated in the research.

The university has licensed the patent-pending technology to Cornish's company, EnergyEne, for further development.

###

Contacts: Katrina Cornish, 330-263-3982; Cornish.19@osu.edu
Cindy Barrera; Barreramartinez.1@buckeyemail.osu.edu

Written by Pam Frost Gorder, 614-292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu

Media Contact

Pam Frost Gorder
gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475

 @osuresearch

http://news.osu.edu

Pam Frost Gorder | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Carbon eggshells food factories high temperatures natural rubber rubber surface area tomato

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Beyond conventional solution-process for 2-D heterostructure
22.06.2018 | Science China Press

nachricht Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film
22.06.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>