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Egg Shells Could Improve Performance of Car Tires


Mar 17, 2017


The Wall Street Journal on March 11 carried an article by Daniel Akst noting that agricultural waste could be added to carbon black to reduce cost and improve the performance of car tires.

A research team at Ohio State University evaluated eggshells and tomato skins to replace a proportion of the waste, generally disposed of in landfills.


The principal researcher Dr. Katrina Cornish estimates that substituting food waste for carbon black would reduce production costs and provide a competitive advantage for tire manufacturers as the quantity of carbon black, usually 30 percent by mass of a tire could be displaced.

The only point of difference between current poultry industry practice and the article relates to the projection of available eggshell material.  Dr. Cornish used a value close to 600,000 metric tons of eggshells annually.  Since this figure appeared high, a calculation of the potential supply of raw material yielded a value of 181,000 metric tons. 

The difference probably lies in the fact that only eggshells from approximately 100 million hens supplying the breaking segment of the industry and eggshells from broiler breeders would be accessible.  Eggshells from domestic and restaurant kitchens will probably not be worth the expense of collection and transport. 

If it is assumed that each egg yields 5 grams of shell, 100 million hens at 78 percent production would produce 350 metric tons of shell material daily or 128,800 metric tons each year.  Assuming 200 million shells could be recovered each week from broiler hatcheries, the total from this segment of the industry would amount to 52,000 metric tons each year.

Irrespective of the quantities involved, any additional value derived from what is effectively a waste product will be beneficial to the egg and broiler industries respectively, providing the cost of collection, pre-delivery handling and transport is commensurate with the value derived.