THE RECIRCLE TECHNOLOGY
Vulcanised rubber goods are strong and stable; tyres, conveyor belts, shoe soles and many components used in every day life.
Once manufactured, they are very challenging to recycle in both quantity and quality. Almost a billion tires a year are typically burned or spread far and wide as a filler in things like roads. This is not sustainable for our environment and wastes valuable resources leading to pressure for change.
The challenge for science has been that to effectively recycle rubber, sulphur cross linkages need to be removed.
Many have tried for several years and almost all of the options involve aggressive conditions and/or the use of chemicals. They produce products of variable quality that cannot be incorporated into new rubber products in really meaningful amounts that truly help either business or the environment.