Researchers say a small change in design could resolve tyre wear microplastics issues
Tyre Designed to Retain TWP
Microplastics have long been considered one of the most complex forms of pollution, with particles of less than 5mm impacting air quality, water supplies, animal and plant species and proving incredibly difficult to remove from the environment due to their small size.
The average tyre will lose 4kg of microplastics during its lifespan, with 85 per cent of all microplastics identified as caused by tyre wear and tear. Cheolhee Lee, Seongjong Kang, and Lee JH96 have designed the Nexen Pureback tyre in response to this issue. This new tyre system significantly reduces the level of microplastics allowed to escape into the environment.
This is achieved with a relatively simple approach, using the groove between treads to separate and discharge microplastics, effectively turning the grips into storage for waste material. These can then be emptied at a safe facility, with drivers notified of an in-car LED display when a tyre is approaching capacity.
“Pureback proposes a small change in shape and structure within the area of the existing tyre,” a spokesperson from the design team explained.
‘If the collected microplastics are compressed and delivered to a hydrogen charging station, the corresponding rewards, hydrogen mileage, and hydrogen charging benefits are provided to users, so that everything from automobiles to tyres to hydrogen charging can be suggested as a service model,’ they continued.
The Pureback Nexen Tyre is an eco-friendly tyre as it separates and discharges the microplastics while driving. The harmful airborne plastic is pushed through the inlet between the tyre treads, where the hazardous material is stored in the central capsule. The sides of the tyre are made of steel which creates a safe housing for collected material. According to the designers, the microplastics collected are compressed and deposited at hydrogen charging stations by connecting to the hydrogenation system.
Eventually, the users benefit as they get rewards and benefits too. The tyre offers good functionality as it solves serious problems while being aesthetically pleasing to look at. The Pureback Nexen Tyre features grooves, and the wheel cover housing is connected to LED lighting on the side walls. The tyre illuminates in blue colour while collecting the microplastics, and when it is full, it turns red. Indicating it’s time for you to dispose of the toxic material at the next hydrogen filling station.