Written by Thomas Orr, ESLLC 2016-2017
A study by the Ohio State University reveals that certain food waste can partly replace carbon black, a petroleum-based filler that is a main ingredient in tires. In studies, researchers prove that rubber made from this new material meets if not exceeds, industrial standards for performance. Not only does this open up more ways to make tires, but it has the potential to make our current situation more sustainable while we make the transition to greener ways, it reduces Americas need for foreign fuel, and keeps the rubber from entering landfills.
So what kinds of food can you drive on? Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar has discovered, after years of work, that a special rubber producing dandelion can be used as a new domestic rubber source. Now she is working on turning eggshells and tomato peels into replacements for carbon black.
Not only is this a cleaner way of manufacturing tires but it is locally sourced right here in America. No longer do we have to buy material from overseas. This new material is a viable option according to USDA, Americans consume approximately 100 billion eggs each year. About fifty percent of these are cracked open in industrial food factories where the shells are taken to landfills.
Tomatoes are the second most popular fruit in America with us eating up to 13 million tons of them every year. The skin is often discarded as part of canning and peeling for tomato based products.
Now with these natural sources, we can start looking into more sustainable ways to produce rubber based products, especially tires.