Concept: The Crumbs
Because tires contain approximately 1-2% zinc by weight, zinc leaching is an environmental concern associated with civil engineering applications of tire crumb rubber. An assessment of zinc leaching data from 14 studies in the published literature indicates that increasing zinc leaching is associated with lower pH and longer leaching times, but the data display a wide range of zinc concentrations, and do not address the effect of crumb rubber size or the dynamics of zinc leaching during flow through porous crumb rubber. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of crumb rubber size using the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP), the effect of exposure time using quiescent batch leaching tests, and the dynamics of zinc leaching using column tests. Results indicate that zinc leaching from tire crumb rubber increases with smaller crumb rubber and longer exposure time. Results from SPLP and quiescent batch leaching tests are interpreted with a single-parameter leaching model that predicts a constant rate of zinc leaching up to 96 hr. Breakthrough curves from column tests displayed an initial pulse of elevated zinc concentration (~3 mg/L) before settling down to a steady-state value (~0.2 mg/L), and were modeled with the software package HYDRUS-1D. Washing crumb rubber reduces this initial pulse but does not change the steady-state value. No leaching experiment significantly reduced the reservoir of zinc in the crumb rubber.
Sponge cake is a cereal product characterized by an aerated crumb and appreciated for its softness. When formulating such product it is interesting to be able to characterize the crumb structure using image analysis and to bring knowledge about the effects of the crumb cellular structure on its mechanical properties which contribute to softness. An image analysis method based on mathematical morphology was adapted from the one developed for bread crumb. In order to evaluate its ability to discriminate cellular structures, series of cakes were prepared using two rather similar emulsifiers but also using flours with different aging times before use. The mechanical properties of the crumbs of these different cakes were also characterized. It allowed a cell structure classification taking into account cell size and homogeneity, but also cell wall thickness and the number of holes in the walls. Interestingly, the cellular structure differences had a larger impact on the aerated crumb Young modulus than the wall firmness. Increasing the aging time of flour before use leads to the production of firmer crumbs due to coarser and inhomogeneous cellular structures. Changing the composition of the emulsifier may change the cellular structure and, depending on the type of the structural changes, have an impact on the firmness of the crumb. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.