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PTA News Bureau

At a time when the world is grappling with the disposal problems of accumulating end-of-life tyres (ELT), research by a team of c headed by Dr Mariappan Parans Paranthaman, Distinguished R&D Staff and Leader of Materials Chemistry Group of Chemical Sciences Division at Tennessee-based Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has come with a breakthrough innovation.Dr-Paranthama300

The discovery could revolutionise the tyre recycling industry as it could hope to produce more value added products, including production of anode by modifying carbon black recovered from ELTs. This anode can be used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and storage devices for the power produced by wind and solar.

“We have demonstrated the use of carbon powders in a small coin-cell battery configuration so far,” Dr Paranthaman told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview. “We are in the process of evaluating the battery performance in a large format lithium-ion battery configuration. If it is proven, we have a good possibility of increasing the value added product of carbon powders from recycled tyres,” he said.

His work is considered as a major contribution to cleaner environment at a time when governments are grappling with the problem of ELT. Besides storage batteries, his research work has other possible uses in tyre recycling. The major focus is on developing supercapacitors and other energy storage applications.

When asked when it would be possible to scale up the recovery process for modified anode and set up commercially feasible manufacturing from recycled carbon black, Dr Paranthaman said that ORNL is scouting for companies that could be licensed for manufacturing. “We are in the process of licensing our technology to potential manufacturers. I would estimate in the next 2-3 years for scaling up our technology.”

(Full text in PTA Dec/Jan issue)

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