News and Events
Volume 1 - Edition 7
December 10, 2004
Distinguished Lecture Series
Thursday, November 18

What are we doing to this planet?   This question, among others, sparked Dr. Hamid Arastoopour, Max McGraw Professor of Energy, Environment and Economics and Dean, Armour College of Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), to start thinking about developing an innovative and cost-effective technology for recycling and processing polymers and rubbers.   

Over 283 million tires are scrapped every year in the United States; that roughly equates to 7 billion pounds of solid wastes.  “Accumulation of scrap tires consumes a staggering amount of land space, creates a high risk for large uncontrollable fires, breeds mosquitoes that spread diseases and wastes the planet’s natural resources,” explains Arastooopour. 

In an attempt to minimize waste and pollution, Arastoopour and his research team of graduate students, faculty members and industry partners have developed a patented novel process known as Solid State Shear Extrusion (SSSE) to convert rubber material to rubber particles that can be reused in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner.    

The rubber particles produced by the SSSE process can be used as fillers in tires or other composite materials, including rubber modified asphalt or molded products.  Arastoopour explained that the rubber particles are dispersible in water and therefore can be used in coating and as additive to water-based paint applications. 

“The water-absorbing and retaining capability of the structured rubber particles enables us to use them in place of soil which significantly reduces the amount of water needed to grow a plant,” explains Arastoopour.  “This can be a great benefit to countries with a lack of water resources.” 

Arastoopour can see SSSE and other rubber pulverization technologies becoming the primary recycling process for tires and other elastomeric materials in the very near future.


Dean Berruti introduces Dr. Arastoopour

Dr. Arastoopour explains the SSSE process

Dean Berruti and grad students presented Dr. Arastoopour with thank you gifts.

Many people followed up with Dr. Arastoopour after his lecture to learn more about the SSSE process.


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