To date, the Tyre Stewardship R&D Fund has committed of over $3 million in support of project focused on new domestic uses for recycled end-of-life tyres. Now, Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has moved to fund real-world demonstration of research validated projects that promise to consume substantial quantities of tyres.
The expansion of the Fund adds a demonstration and infrastructure stream to the existing R&D stream. The new project stream will support projects that offer potential for significant domestic use of tyre-derived product (TDP) and that will benefit from real-world trials to help prove their viability to potential end-users and product specifiers.
The most obvious example being various roads authorities conducting application testing of the recently released Australian Asphalt Pavement Association national specifications for crumbed rubber use in asphalt mixes.
The decision to expand the funding streams was motivated by a demand to capitalise on the benefits of research and by the findings of the TSA-supported National Market Development Strategy for Used Tyres 2017-2022, which identified the need to work on removing barriers to the take-up of end products.
“The initial fund operated within a R&D framework, focused on new, emerging and potentially expanding markets,” said Liam O’Keefe, TSA market development manager.
“Now we want to support demonstration and infrastructure projects to realise the potential benefit identified through R&D. The aim is to drive more immediate and continual consumption of tyre-derived product.
“A good example is a University of Melbourne trial to develop an optimum blend of crumb rubber permeable paving. The trial found a way to incorporate recycled tyres into urban paving that can provide water to nearby trees.
“Numerous councils have already expressed interest in pursuing the permeable paving option and we could see it used in local government bike tracks, footpaths, walking trails and car parks very soon.”
The expanded funding streams do not allow for the funding of recycling infrastructure, seed funding for new ventures, clean-up of stockpiles or for feasibility studies.
However, the new project stream looks set to convert sound R&D outcomes into practical demonstrations of Australian value-add uses of end-of-life tyres; offering the obvious potential for positive environmental and economic benefits.
With the latest funding round closing on November 30, there is still time to submit an application for concepts that could generate increased utilisation of TDP. Applications can be made via the TSA website.