India-born scientist’s tech to convert old car tyres to useful metal alloys
India-born scientist’s tech to convert old car tyres to useful metal alloys may hold hope for the city’s garbage disposal problems
New Delhi, 30 June: India-born scientist Professor Veena Sahajwalla’s technology to convert old rubber tyres to metal alloys may be the answer to garbage landfill troubles, say experts. ProfessorSahajwalla, Director at the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia, is the inventor of ‘green steel’ manufacturing – an environmentally-friendly process for using recycled rubber tyres in steel making.
‘Green steel’ technology invented at UNSW Australia has achieved a major milestone, with its use in Australia preventing more than two million waste rubber tyres from ending up in landfill and has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Scientists at UNSW Australia believe the same technology can be applied to cities facing overburdened landfills around the world.
The old tyres and plastics provide a source of carbon to replace a significant proportion of the non-renewable coke used to make steel in electric arc furnaces. The Polymer Injection Technology, as it is known, also reduces electricity consumption, lowers carbon injectant costs and delivers yield and productivity improvements.
UNSW Australia Professor Veena Sahajwalla collaborated closely with OneSteel (now Arrium Mining and Materials) to develop Polymer Injection Technology. OneSteel has sub-licensed the technology to companies in Thailand, South Korea and the United Kingdom and has plans to further commercialize it around the globe.
Professor Sahajwalla said, “We need to change attitudes about landfilling waste. As scientists and engineers, we can create solutions that go beyond conventional thinking. We can look for smarter, cleaner ways of manufacturing that have a low impact on the environment.”
The innovation has been the subject of numerous keynote addresses and has been internationally recognized through awards, prizes and honours, and by her success in attracting competitive research funding from government and industry.