A team of students has been handed the James Dyson Award in recognition for the creation of a device that helps to bring down tyre emissions.
Students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art designed The Tyre Collective, which uses electrostatics to collect the particles generated by a vehicle’s tyres.
Attached to the wheels, the device is claimed to collect up 60 per cent of the particulates from a tyre by using the spinning wheel’s airflow.
Though the onset of electric cars is helping to reduce exhaust-based emissions, tyre particulates will continue to pollute the air no matter what type of car they’re used on.
The team – made up of students Siobhan Anderson, Hanson Cheng, M Deepak Mallaya, and Hugo Richardson – also estimate that tyre emissions might even increase as electric vehicles are heavier due to the additional batteries, and therefore put more pressure on the tyres themselves.
However, The Tyre Collective takes the collected particulates and can then use them in new tyres or in other materials such as ink. In fact, the team showcased this use by printing business cards using the ink generated from collected tyre matter.
On winning the James Dyson Award, Siobhan said: “We were so thrilled when we found out we’d won the national James Dyson Award. It definitely gives us some validation that our design and concept is something that has real world tangible benefits. We’re excited about having the backing of such a prestigious award and we’re looking forward to continuing this journey and developing our innovation further.”
This latest award marks the 16th year of the James Dyson Award, which saw the highest number of entrants in its history across all 27 participating nations.
Sophie Thomas, Circular Economy Specialist and judge on this year’s panel says: “We were unanimously drawn to The Tyre Collective for their creative innovation around this urgent issue of microplastic shedding from tyres. This collaborative, multi-disciplinary 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.”
Winning the national leg of the James Dyson Award will see £2,000 injected into The Tyre Collective project. The team is hoping to use the money to further their research into how the innovation can become a global solution.