tiresHere's what could be a better way to fuel that inkjet: instead of paying through the nose for manufacturer-approved cartridges or making a mess with refill kits, how about using ink made from recycled tires? That's the idea behind a patent awarded to three inventors from Derbyshire, U.K., which envisions baking tires at 800°C, breaking them down to components of silica, steel wire, sulphur, and carbon char, which could be filtered and reheated to create carbon powder for printers. Of course, there are some downsides to the plan: for one, it's only good for black ink, so forget about getting cheaper photo-printer cartridges. For another, tires seem to be the recycling material du jour, so ink-makers may find themselves competing for inventory with producers of other office supplies, playground padding and lumber.

[Via Metaefficient]

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