The Audi Environmental Foundation has developed filters for urban runoff in conjunction with the Technical University of Berlin. They prevent tyre wear particles and other substances from being washed into sewers and bodies of water along with rainwater. Initial field and lab tests have now demonstrated the efficiency of the UrbanFilter project.
Motoring organisation RAC has moved to “set record straight” following controversial remarks from Environment Secretary George Eustice that electric vehicles (EV) may not be as green as people think. In order to do that the RAC, which wants to speed up EV take-up, commissioned battery electrochemist Dr Euan McTurk to address the suggestion that EVs produce more particulate from brake and tyre wear than their petrol and diesel counterparts.
The Tyre Collective – winners of the James Dyson Awards 2020 – have designed a device to capture tyre particulate at source. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ “Air Quality: Brake, Tyre and Road Surface Wear” report, tyre-wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. Furthermore, a reported half a million tonnes of tyre particles are produced annually in Europe alone, from vehicles accelerating, braking and cornering. As we move towards electric vehicles in the future, exhaust emissions will reduce but tyre particles will continue. The Tyre Collective estimate that tyre emissions may even increase, as electric vehicles become heavier due to the added battery weight. For both reasons, this year’s UK national James Dyson Award winners attempt to address this issue.
Studies show the tyre/road abrasion caused by vehicles in motion contributes to microplastic and fine dust pollution, making this an issue our industry will increasingly have to consider in future. ZF Test Systems believes its new unit for testing tyre abrasion will enable tyre manufacturers to optimise their development programmes and offer cleaner tyres.
Emissions Analytics caused a stir last week when sharing news of its tyre wear pollution testing. It reported extraordinarily high levels of tyre wear pollution. The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) has now responded with a statement that challenges Emissions Analytics’ testing procedure while keeping the door open to further dialogue on the subject of tyre and road wear particles (TRWP).
One effect of regulatory-driven decreases in vehicle emissions is that other kinds of pollution become comparatively higher. The contribution of tyres to overall transportation pollution has been scrutinised on a number of occasions, and opinions on the matter vary. Emissions Analytics now brings the issue of tyre pollution back to the table, flagging up that they’re much more polluting than car exhausts.
In July 2018 the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) initiated a multi-stakeholder roundtable, the European TRWP (Tyre and Road Wear Particles) Platform facilitated by CSR Europe to consult on the subject of tyre particulate. The Platform brought together representatives of the main organisations related to TRWP well as research institutes and EU policy makers. As the year-long collaboration has come to a conclusion, the platform has published two reports highlighting potential mitigation measures to reduce generation and transportation of TRWP as well as calling for additional research where knowledge gaps exist in an attempt to answer growing concerns about their environmental impact.