The ability to fully recycle rubber so that recovered material is reused for the same products and applications would solve a major pollution problem in Europe. Mechanochemistry and Free Radical Chemistry theory indicates that this is achievable by selectively cleaving and then closing off tj-he crosslinks found in vulcanised rubber waste and returning the material to a solubalised state. This may be achieved through a mixing process resulting in a material that is both soluble and elastic. Experimental work has indicated this effect for 2g and 2kg samples.
This cooperative research project is proposed to:
1. Extend the existing work to include the optimised solubilising of car (SBR) and truck(NR) tyre rubbers for recycling;
2. Extend the programme to include other viscoelastic polymers such as EPDMs, nitriles and neoprenes;
3. Identify the machine scale in terms of economic and process requirements;
4. Design, develop, build and test a large-scale plant to fully evaluate the technology. The project aim is to evaluate this technology as a means of cost-effectively eliminating the waste rubber problem within Europe.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
7491 BT Delden