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Home > News >

The potential market for producing high-value aerogel from discarded tires

2020-03-20
In addition to the pollution caused by waste gas and wastewater during the production of tires, more and more used tires are causing severe "black pollution" to the earth, which poses a significant challenge to protecting the environment.

Every year, about one billion waste tires are produced worldwide. Rubber tires are very durable and non-biodegradable. According to statistics, only 40% of waste tires are recycled into low value-added products, 49% is incinerated to generate electricity, and 11% are thrown into landfills.
  
The National University of Singapore cuts discarded car tires into fine rubber fibers, and then immerses those fibers in a solution consisting of water and a small amount of "eco-friendly" solvents, which crosslink the threads to each other. The mixture was mechanically stirred about 20 minutes to form a gel in which the connected fibers were suspended uniformly. The gel was freeze-dried at -50ºC (-58ºF) for 12 hours to obtain a solid rubber aerogel.
  
The resulting solid rubber aerogel is very lightweight and has many excellent properties, including:
  
Absorptive: This makes rubber aerogels a sound-absorbent to remove oil spills. It is twice as absorbent as conventional absorbents (such as polypropylene pads).
  
Excellent sound absorption: Rubber aerogel is 27% more effective than commercial foam absorbents of the same thickness.
  
Excellent thermal insulation: Rubber aerogels have high heat resistance. A one-inch (2.54 cm) piece of rubber aerogel has a heat transfer limit equal to 25 standard glass windows.
  
Highly durable: Most aerogels are very brittle and brittle, but rubber aerogels can spring back to their original shape when compressed. This unique property makes it suitable for use as an insulation material in industrial applications, such as in subsea systems, refineries, and industrial buildings, as well as in households, refrigerators, and personal items such as jackets and insoles. If coated with a chemical called methoxy trimethyl silane, it can also be made water repellent and can be used to prevent moisture from eroding or damaging insulating equipment.
  
Because the aerogel manufacturing process is simple, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, the potential market is enormous. For example, car noise and thermal comfort are critical to car design. By 2022, the global automotive insulation and sound insulation solutions market is expected to reach $ 3.2 billion. By 2025, that number is increased to $ 182.7 billion.