The rubber blows out as a fine powder that can be manufactured into tires, asphalt, car parts, running shoes and more. Each pound of micronized rubber saves almost a gallon of oil
Justin Doom - BLOOMBERG
- August 21, 2012
Every year, Americans discard about 300 million tires. That’s about a third of the 1 billion thrown out worldwide. About half of those are burned for fuel, which is just slightly better than landfilling. The rest end up in playgrounds, mulch for gardens or in berms along highways.
Lehigh Technologies wants America’s scrap rubber. The nine-year-old company has raised more than $50 million for processors that collect it, freeze it and shatter it into bits. ``Think of it as a jet engine with teeth,'' said Chief Executive Officer Alan Barton, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University.
Barton’s company has developed a process that lowers the material’s temperature to negative-300 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it brittle like glass. It's then fed into a specially designed mill -- a turbine that spins at more than 2,000 revolutions per minute.
The rubber blows out as a fine powder that can be manufactured into tires, asphalt, car parts, running shoes and more. Each pound of micronized rubber saves almost a gallon of oil and results in half the carbon emissions of a similar synthetically produced product, according to the company's website.... [Read More]