In Ohio, Ohio State University researchers, who you may have heard speak at ABLC 2017, discovered a way to use food waste as a replacement for fossil fuel based fillers used in tire manufacturing. Usually, carbon black is used as tire filler to reinforce the tires and make the rubber more durable, but it comes with a host of problems as tire production increases worldwide and carbon black becomes harder to come by, especially for America which imports it from overseas.
Researchers found several benefits to replacing carbon black with food waste. Eggshells made the rubber larger surface area for better contact with the rubber, and tomato peels made the rubber more stable at higher temperatures, allowing these two food waste products to be flexible and resilient options to replace carbon black. This would allow the U.S. to rely less on importing carbon black or other rubber fillers from overseas, help deal with food waste issues, and help improve rubber tires’ properties and performance.