This alchemist of waste has invented a way to recycle rubber tyres into steel

30th Oct 2015
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Veena Sahajwalla is a professor in the Faculty of Science at UNSW Australia, and is known for her role as a councillor on the independent Australian Climate Council and a judge on the ABC television show The New Inventors. She has also served as a commissioner on the now defunct Australian Climate Commission. She is however, best known internationally as the Inventor of ‘Green Steel’.


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Her research is a milestone in changing the way properties of carbon-bearing materials are understood, including coals, cokes, graphites, plastics and rubber. Her work has had significant impact on the theory and practices that form the basis of operations of the Iron-making, Steel-making and Ceramics industries. Of particular importance is her demonstration that waste plastics and waste rubber can be partial replacements for coal and coke in steel-making.


Veena’s unique focus on the evolution of carbon properties in high-temperature conditions has not only advanced scientific understanding of materials processing, but has provided cost-effective opportunities for industries to move towards sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. Her revolutionary approach has already prevented more than 2 million tyres from ending up in landfill and helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When it comes to developing value from waste, Veena is already reinventing the wheel.

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