Eco-innovation is a real opportunity for entrepreneurs. Eco-businesses employ a total of 3.4...
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Eco-innovation is a real opportunity for entrepreneurs. Eco-businesses employ a total of 3.4 million people across Europe.
This week, Business Planet takes a trip to Croatia for a closer look at a very specific kind of innovation: noise barriers.
The noise barriers being built along the motorway near Zagreb are spearheading innovation. They are made up of 40 percent of recycled tyres and are among the most efficient on the market.
They are the result of a project launched in 2009 as part of the European Eco-Innovation programme.
One of the companies involved in their production is an SME which recycles tyres, turning them into a powder used to build the barriers. It's a great opportunity for innovation, says the company's chairman:
"If we achieve the goals that were set, we're hoping to hire up to 30 people and double our production capacity," says Damir Kirić, the chairman of Gumiimpex.
The powder is mixed with cement at another factory, where the noise barriers are moulded.
Here, too, it's hoped the project will help hire an extra 60 people.
"It's opened up new doors. We're hoping to increase turnover by 25 percent in Croatia, but also in neighbouring countries," says the Managing Director of Beton Lučko, Danica Jelenić.
It's a serious investment. Danica Jelenić put in 355 000 euros. She is delighted with the result.
"Taking part in this project has really strengthened our position. We're taken seriously by other players on the market," she says.
The European Eco-Innovation programme gives access to subsidies to launch a project. To this day, it has benefited 200 projects throughout Europe.
The noise barrier project was born at Zagreb University. It is the brainchild of professor Stjepan Lakušić.
Half of the project was funded by the Eco-Innovation programme, which provided half a million euros.
Now, the plan is to sell this innovative technology to neighbouring countries, where there is always a need for fresh ideas on how to recycle tyres.
"You need 65 tonnes of recycled tyres to produce a kilometre-long barrier that's one metre high. That's 8,000 old tyres," says RUCONBAR Project Coordinator Stjepan Lakušić.
This new technology has already attracted a number of potential buyers seduced by the low production cost.
"Using recycled products brings down the cost by ten to eighteen percent compared to similar products on the market," says Stjepan Lakušić.
The chairman of Gumiimpex, Damir Kirić, describes his recipe for success:
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What will happen when the concrete disintegrate in 20 years ? then the rubber ends up in our water ways and into the ocean further complicating the ecosystem! We have been using all our knowledge to hide trouble in all the irrelevant places just to make a profit out of it. The only way you can keep the rubber out of trouble is to introduce it into a continues recycling eco system where it never ends up discarded in the landfill or burnt.
Key to success in recycling tires is subsidies. Unfortunate, but that's how it is. Short of some serious future advances in chemistry there is just no way to make a real profit off of it. You can repurpose tires, but the market for such products is so dang limited, it will never make a dent in mountains of old tires.
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Well - recycling means actually not only change a material into another form and reuse it - but also reuse it when also that use is no longer needed. So these walls do not look to be able to be recycled again. A compound of cement and rubber.....hm. Smart on the short view.....
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The coefficient of expansion and contraction of tires and cement are not similar; over time the product will be come unstable and deteriorate. And all those chemicals to make tires will gradually make their way into the atmosphere like the way they do now as they wear out.
If any company wants to produce other new products from the recycled tyer material, then the product should be provided as per international rules.
*_Rubber is very flammable._*
*So flammable and carbon particles must have to remove from tyer.other wies total atmosphere can be polluted.*
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Where would this business be if the government didn't use taxpayers dollars to buy the products? Not to mention the green business subsidies. This is a racquet to funnel taxpayer's money under the guise of saving the world. 30 jobs from tens of millions of taxpayers dollars spent. But if it makes a nut job environmentalist feel good about themselves then it's all worth it!
BS, taxpayer dollars are paying for sound barriers already, regardless what they are made of. This is a way to repurpose what would go to a landfill. I suppose you are totally fine with just making more and more landfills and consuming new resources rather than trying to recycle and repurpose.
Are you talking about gated communities? Blacks, Mexicans and Transgender people can live in gated communities. You know who's kept out of gated communities? People who don't live or work in gated communities.
The tyre companies should be held responsible for their product and made to repurchase every single tyre as they can be broken down into all the components that make up a tyre and be reused , I know for a fact because I have seen machines on the inventers programs here in Australia doing the job , a surcharge and enforced laws so the tyre companies face the responsibility of their product they produce .
Doesn't quite work like that. For a prohibitively high cost you can devulcanize rubber, but the recovered rubber won't be good enough to make fresh tires out of it. There are ways to burn rubber cleanly, but the hardware required for it is so expensive and costs so much to operate it doesn't work even with tires being essentially free fuel. And tires have very high mineral content so you have bunch of not so environmentally friendly ash to deal with. Unfortunately the best you can reasonably do with tires is to just pile them up somewhere out of sight and out of mind.
The tech to make profitable use of tires just doesn't exist yet. It could, one day in the future, but that day is not today.
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