Device that significantly reduces tyre emissions gets James Dyson Award

New concept uses electrostatics to collect tyre particles that can be recycled into new materials

Device that significantly reduces tyre emissions gets James Dyson Award

An innovative new device that reduces tyre emissions has won its designers the James Dyson Award.

Created by Imperial College London and Royal College of Art students Siobhan Anderson, Hanson Cheng, Deepak Mallya and Hugo Richardson, the Tyre Collective uses electrostatics to collect particles as they’re emitted from car tyres.

Tyre wear produces 500,000 tonnes of tyre particles annually in Europe alone.

Globally, it is estimated that tyre wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions and is the second-largest microplastic pollutant in the oceans after single-use plastic.

Related: Tyres are ‘major source’ of river and ocean microplastics, study finds

The team of students claim that the device, which is attached to the wheels, collects up to 60 per cent of airborne particles from tyres by taking advantage of various airflows around a spinning wheel.

Once captured, tyre particles can be recycled into new tyres or made into other materials.

Circular Economy specialist and Dyson Award judge Sophie Thomas said: “We were unanimously drawn to The Tyre Collective for their creative innovation around this urgent issue of microplastic shedding from tyres.

“This collaborative, multidisciplinary team questioned and challenged, building an approach that demonstrates the crucial role of design and enquiry when we search for solutions to these global problems.”

As well as the James Dyson Award, the Tyre Collective team won £2000 of funding for their project which will be used the commercialise their invention in a sustainable way.

The award, which recognises and rewards imaginative design solutions to global environmental problems, operates in 27 countries and is open to university students and recent graduates studying product design, industrial design and engineering.

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