A Penn State environmental engineering professor has proposed breaking up old tires into "crumb rubber" that can be used to filter wastewater.
Wastewater filters usually use sand or anthracite to separate water from the waste, but Yuefeng Xie told The Washington Post that compressed crumb rubber filters are more effective and limit clogging.
Xie’s research has concluded that crumb rubber derived from tires can successfully be used as a filter media. The crumb rubber is produced by chopping and grinding up tires, cleaning the rubber and removing metal remnants.
Xie also told The Washington Post that since the pulverized tires are lighter than alternative filters and produce higher water filtration rates, crumb rubber filters could be used in a mobile treatment unit for disaster relief operations.