A revolutionary device that collects microplastics as they break away from car tyres has won the prestigious James Dyson award. The device, which was developed by a group of masters students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art called The Tyre Collective, addresses a much underpublicized issue with tyre wear and microplastic pollution.
Fitted to the wheel, the device uses electrostatics to collect plastic particles as they break away from the tyre, utilising the flow of air around the spinning vehicle wheel. The world-first device is reported to collect 60% of all airborne particles from tyres under test conditions.
The device addresses the growing environmental problem causes by tyre wear and tear. It is reported that this kind of pollution produces 500,000 tonnes of offending particles annually in Europe. This is a worldwide problem that creates nearly half of road transport particulate emissions globally.
The students’ will be entered into the international segment as part of the final leg of the James Dyson award in November this year. The overall winner will receive an additional £30,000 prize money added to the £2,000 given to all national winners.
Huge Richardson, a member of the Tyre Collective said, “It’s common knowledge that tyres wear down, but nobody seems to think about where it goes, and we were really shocked to discover that tyre particles are the second-largest microplastic pollutant in our oceans. At the Tyre Collective, we incorporate sustainable and circular values into product design to capture tyre wear at the source.”
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You can find out more about the Dyson Award and the Tyre Collective on the links below: https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/