On the road again for old tires

As reported in Israel21C: Israel’s formula for getting green mileage from old tires could be a boon for countries with similar raw materials and climates.

Old, used tires are an environmental nuisance. But now a new “green” project in Israel intends to recycle the rubber from old tires, and use as many as 1,400 tires per kilometer of new paved highway.

In a pilot trial, a 1.1 kilometer section of road was paved using an experimental mixture that included hundreds of recycled tires and a blend of asphalt.

At no greater cost than paving a regular road, this new product can increase the life of the pavement by one-third without, the developers believe, compromising safety. Developers anticipate that their technology can be applied in countries in the Middle East and elsewhere with similar climates and conditions as Israel.

About three million tires go out of service in Israel every year, and they are often found discarded and scattered at various locations.

“We are talking about 15 percent of the total wasted tires in Israel. Something like 700 tires in one kilometer of lane; in one experiment, we doubled this figure up to 1,400 tires,” says Israel National Roads Company R&D branch director Adrian Valentin Cotrus.

While the idea to reuse shredded rubber on roads came through a technology transfer meeting between Israel and America back in 2005, the results from the pilot trial on a highway section of Road 85 in the Galilee, up north, will benefit its Israeli developers: the Israel National Roads Company, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Expect the compound and equipment needed to produce the recycled tire asphalt to be ready for sale by the end of this year, Cotrus says.

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