New device reduces electric car pollution levels – ‘catalytic converter for tyre wear’

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Tyre wear is the second largest microplastic pollutant in the environment, after single use plastic, and accounts for up to 50 percent of air particulate emission from road transport. As the world adopts electric vehicles, pollution from tyre wear is projected to increase, due to the added battery weight and torque of these vehicles.

The Tyre Collective was started to mitigate tyre wear emissions in the environment, something which could be worsened by the transition to electric vehicles.

The business has recently received funding from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to develop an on-vehicle device to capture tyre wear at the source to reduce road transport pollution.

The device – a world first, developed in consultation with the Imperial Department of Aeronautics – currently captures 60 percent of all airborne particles in testing.

Once captured, these particles can be recycled or reused in new tyres and other materials.

Hanson Cheng, co-founder of The Tyre Collective, called for more awareness of tyre wear pollution and what can be done to reduce emissions.

Speaking exclusively to, he said: “In our research we found that tyre wear was actually the second largest microplastic pollutant in our oceans, making up around 28 percent.

“It’s also small enough that it is a form of air pollution, around PM10 or even smaller.

“It’s such a large issue but no one is really talking about it.

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“We really saw that as an opportunity to raise awareness of tyre wear but we saw that as an opportunity to innovate and for us to provide a solution to this issue.

“When you think about vehicle pollution, at the moment, it’s very much on the exhaust, people think about the smoke that comes from the tailpipe.

“But that’s only half of the problem, there’s a whole other problem with brake wear and tyre wear. That would be the next big pollution source that we have to tackle to create a true zero emission vehicle.

“It is projected that more tyre particles are being produced in EVs than in internal combustion cars, trucks and vans.”

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