Given durability and non-biodegradable nature of tires, these products pose an incredible challenge for waste managers all over the world, including Oman. However, a student from Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE) in Oman, Fatma Sulaiman Nasser al Kindi, has come up with an innovative solution in her country when she suggested how waste tires could be used in the construction industry. She, same as other researchers, pinpointed that scrap tires pose a threat to the environment on a global level.

When Fatma noticed that tires were normally dumped in the streets and junkyards in Oman polluting the environment, she was puzzled with a question how tires containing a lot of precious material could be used in a productive way. Later, she decided that tire recycling enabling development of concrete aggregate out of scrap tires was the answer.

According to the student, tire recycling allows creating substitute for conventional aggregates used in concrete production. Fatma explained that, as part of the recycling process, scrap tires would be downsized into crumb rubber of various sizes. After that, the processed material would be combined with concrete blend, or it would serve as raw material for other types of pavement. Fatma further noted that crumb rubber from tires serves as a binding component; this allows preventing preliminary cracks in roads and other concrete projects.

Fatma also revealed that her solution didn’t harm the environment as she used acid treatment which enabled to avoid incinerating tires. This way, no hazardous chemicals are released into the air.

Recently, a number of scholars studied the recycled rubber used in concrete mixes and how the durability and resilience of such products could be improved. The outcome of their research has proven to be successful due to the better properties of the innovative materials used in construction projects and relying on concrete and recycled tire rubber.

Annually, Oman generates over 40,000 tons of scrap tires, and some forecasts predict that the number will grow as cities are becoming more populated and the country – more urbanized. Currently, waste tire accumulations are kept at two key dumpsites, and the largest one is based in Dhofar.

Article by Muscat Daily.