Using Food Waste as a Sustainable Rubber Filler

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Katrina Cornish, Ohio Research Scholar and Professor of Horticulture and Crop Sciences and Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering, Cornish’s lab at Ohio State’s Wooster campus designs natural rubber alternatives using crops of guayule and Buckeye Gold dandelion, combined with eggshells and tomato peels.

Cornish Barrera

Professor Katrina Cornish with Postdoctoral Researcher Cindy Barrera in the group’s research facility

Through the Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA) research facility, Cornish’s research group found that partially replacing carbon black with ground eggshells or tomato peels in rubber enhanced its overall strength, elasticity and softness. Both materials offer practical advantages in tire manufacture. Tomato skins offer high-temperature stability, while the porousness of eggshells enable it to bond well with rubber. Additional testing led the researchers to widen their applications of these alternatives beyond tires to other rubber products such as gaskets, hoses and rubber gloves.

Researchers from The Ohio State University have developed a patent-pending, greener—or, more accurately, reddish-brown—alternative to the carbon black filler used in tires.

Natural rubber is a vital resource for any developed country and is used in over 40,000 commercial products. By 2020 the USA may suffer a supply shortfall of 1.5 million metric tons of imported natural rubber. While the use of synthetic rubber has surpassed natural rubber in quantity, there are particular properties and high-performance applications that make natural rubber irreplaceable by synthetic rubber.

As carbon black supply dwindles, eggshells and tomato skins abound. America alone consumes almost 100 billion eggs and 13 million tons of tomatoes annually, with their shells and skins going to landfills. Cornish expects the food factories that dispose of these items to become the go-to source for new filler material.

Cornish explains that the technology has the potential to address three problems: allow more sustainable tire manufacturing process, reduce the tire industry’s dependence on foreign oil, and keep waste out of landfills.


Cornish’s research has been covered by several national media this month, which served as sources for this article:

Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/making-tire-filler-from-eggshells-1489093113

US News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-03-09/incorporating-food-waste-into-tires-may-sustain-industry-long-term

How Stuff Works: http://now.howstuffworks.com/2017/03/10/food-waste-wheels-researchers-turn-tomatoes-tires

Yahoo! News: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/tires-made-eggshells-tomato-skins-081804297.html

Innovations in Materials Research Newsletter – Winter 2017 Issue

The Winter 2017 issue of Innovations in Materials Research, the biannual newsletter of the OSU Institute for Materials Research, is now available online!

Winter 2017 newsletter cover

The latest issue of our biannual newsletter is now available online and in print. Features include stories about two student design challenges IMR has coordinated, two new Global Partnership Grants supporting OSU-India partnerships, advances in energy research that began at our SEAL facility, and four new faces at IMR who are helping us grow and expand our programs and impact in materials research.

 

Features

  • Global Partnership Grants Fund Ohio State/IIT Bombay Research Collaborations
  • Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) Discovery Theme Updates: Materials Innovation Lab Design Challenge, ENGR 2367 Experiential Learning Model Includes Industry Partnerships
  • Research Highlight: Innovative Energy Research Advances Have Origins at SEAL
  • New Faces at IMR Helping Build Its Future
  • Ohio State’s Newest Materials Lab: CCIC-NMR Facility
  • 2016 OSU Materials Week Recap

 

With regular updates from:

  • Center for Emergent Materials (CEM), Ohio State’s NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
  • Core campus materials facilities
  • IMR Member News

 

Download the Winter 2017 Innovations in Materials Research

 


About Innovations in Materials Research

Innovations in Materials Research is IMR’s biannual newsletter (formerly IMR Quarterly) featuring technical articles highlighting OSU research, updates on research funded by IMR grants, facility updates, recently awarded grants, and other materials research news.

To receive the newsletter by mail or to make suggestions for future articles please contact Layla Manganaro at manganaro.4@osu.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

IMR Welcomes Tyndall Researchers to Columbus

Researchers from Ohio State and Tyndall National Institute take a break during their workshop

Researchers from Ohio State and Tyndall National Institute take a break during their workshop

The Institute for Materials Research recently welcomed several visitors from the Tyndall National Institute, a research center in the Republic of Ireland focused on electronics and photonics with a mission to support industry and academia in driving research to market.  Tyndall scientists discussed their current research programs, toured Ohio State materials research facilities, and discussed opportunities for future research and development partnerships between Ohio State researchers and their Irish counterparts through the IMR and its Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability program.  The Tyndall group included Dr. Kieran Drain, Tyndall Chief Executive Officer, and four Tyndall researchers – Paul Hurley, Brendan O’Flynn, Emanuele Pelucchi and Aidan Quinn.

tyndall-workshop

Dr. Paul Hurley provided an overview of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme

Breakout sessions in the areas of electronics and photonics, semiconductors, advanced manufacturing, and sensors allowed Tyndall and Ohio State researchers to focus for a few hours on their specific areas of interest, share their research activities and findings, and explore possible future collaborations.  Tyndall visitors also toured five Ohio State core research facilities – Nanotech West Laboratory, the Spine Research Institute, Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory, NanoSystems Laboratory, and the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis – to learn more about advanced materials research activities and capabilities taking place in our campus’s world class laboratories.

tyndall-pint-house

The group enjoyed some social time downtown in the evening

NSF Awards IMR Team $1M to Build New Spectrometer

The National Science Foundation recently announced that an IMR-led Major Research Instrumentation proposal totaling over $1 million has been awarded to a multidisciplinary team of Ohio State researchers.  The project, titled “Development of a Broadband 330 GHz Variable Temperature Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer System,” has Professor Fengyuan Yang, Professor of Physics and IMR Associate Director, as the Principal Investigator.

The project team includes five other Ohio State professors – Chris Hammel, Physics; Rolando Valdes Aguilar, Physics; Joseph Heremans, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; John Volakis, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, Physics – as well as IMR Member of Technical Staff and NanoSystems Lab director, Dr. Denis Pelekhov.

Together, these researchers will develop a broadband high frequency magnetic resonance spectrometer with the frequency ranging from 1 to 330 GHz between liquid helium and room temperature.  This will be the first magnetic resonance spectrometer in the 100’s GHz at a shared user facility in the Midwest region, and will significantly strengthen and expand the investigation of novel fundamental phenomena and the development of paradigm-changing technologies for researchers within The Ohio State University and from across the Midwest region.

Congratulations to Professor Fengyuan Yang on this NSF MRI award!

For more information, see the College of Engineering’s full story: https://engineering.osu.edu/news/2016/09/nsf-award-funds-novel-magnetic-resonance-research 

CEMAS Digital Theater Renamed OSU-FEI Electron Microscopy Collaboratory

The Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) hosted an event on Monday, June 13th, to dedicate and thank FEI Company for their continued support in developing the new digital learning environment. The digital theater is an electron microscopy training feature unique to CEMAS and the cornerstone of the facility’s commitment to providing full-service microscopy services to business and academia.

McComb Rice Kania

CEMAS Director David McComb, Vice President of FEI Company Materials Science Business Unit Trisha Rice, and CEO of FEI Company Don Kania with the plaque dedicating the digital theater

This digital environment, now named the Ohio State – FEI Electron Microscopy Collaboratory, reflects the efforts of CEMAS and FEI Company to expand the accessibility of electron microscopy to students, researchers, and industrial partners. During this event, a plaque celebrating FEI Company’s contributions to this collaboratory was unveiled, which is now permanently placed within the Electron Microscopy Collaboratory. Opening remarks were given by Ohio State’s Vice President for Research, Caroline Whitacre;  Dean of the College of Engineering, David Williams; the CEO of FEI Company, Don Kania; and the Director of CEMAS, David McComb.

 

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About the OSU-FEI Electron Microscopy Colalboratory

World-class microscopy education in the theory of electron microscopy and all aspects of its use and operation is also available at CEMAS, both in-house and remotely, through our digital theater. Students have live access to CEMAS instruments in real time within a state-of-the-art classroom environment to meet every microscopy training need. Video wall technology provides multiple display screens and projectors, allowing simultaneous display of microscope controls, microscope outputs and lecture slides. Students and lecturers can interact with and operate electron and ion microscopes from within the digital theater in a live, seamless manner – as if one were sitting in front of the instrument. Control of the microscope can be transferred to members of the audience using wired and wireless connectivity.
The microscopes can also be shared with students and researchers at geographically distant locations. Remote operation capabilities connect directly to the 100 Gb/s Ohio OARnet network, providing a unique opportunity for remote teaching and research to partners across the state of Ohio. CEMAS is pioneering the practical application of this
technology for research and training of the next generation of electron microscopy specialists, providing an environment to facilitate world-class collaborative research, and maximizing productivity while minimizing economic and environmental impact. This remote electron microscopy collaboratory system has been installed at the University of Dayton,
The Ohio State University’s Wooster campus and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton), with additional locations planned for the near future.

 

 

For more information about the collaboratory, CEMAS, and its services, visit:

https://cemas.osu.edu/