An environmentally friendly European project aimed at reusing by-products from tyre recycling in expensive concrete structures was launched yesterday by Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos at the University of Technology (TEPAK) in Limassol.
The Anagennisis project, “Innovative Reuse of All Tyre Components in Concrete”, funded by the last environment call of the Framework Programme (FP7), aims to develop innovative solutions to reuse all by-products of tyre recycling.
Mitsopoulos said that the project will see by-products such as rubber, steel and textile fibres being used in high value-added innovative concrete applications, “which would also have a positive impact on the environment, especially in Cyprus, where there are currently limited applications for end-of-life tyres.”
Mitsopoulos said his department is supporting Anagennisis which is expected to provide breakthrough innovation in novel technologies and products with high potential to achieve a greener economy. He said these include reducing waste production and pressure on raw materials from the construction industry, improved resource efficiency and reduced environmental impact, more sustainable consumption, substantial contribution towards the sustainable supply of raw materials of economic importance, and improved communication and transfer of knowledge to policy making, business and to the general public.
The minister said the €4.5m FP7-funded project will last for 42 months and the consortium includes 17 academic and industrial partners from eight countries, including the European Tyre Recycling Association and two Cypriot partners, TEPAK and Zebra General Constructions Ltd.
Mitsopoulos added that Cyprus has also taken part in “EcoLanes”, a three-year FP6 STREP project, that was completed in September 2009, which could be considered as Anagennisis’ predecessor, adding that the ministry’s Public Works Department (PWD) was engaged in that project.
He said Ecolanes’ main aim was to develop infrastructure for surface transport using cost-effective and sustainable long-lasting rigid road pavement, made with steel fibre reinforced concrete, rather than flexible (asphalt) pavements. The steel reinforcement was developed from fibre reinforcement obtained from waste (and user’s) tyres.
The PWD, he noted, was actively involved in exploring the potential of long-lasting rigid road pavement construction and its use in Cyprus.
By Peter Stevenson