THE GOODYEAR Tire and Rubber Company recently announced the release of a demonstration tire comprised of 70% sustainable materials, including what it called “industry-leading innovations.”
In a release, Goodyear Senior Vice-President for Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer Chris Helsel said, “We set an ambitious goal in 2020 to create a tire made 100% from sustainable materials in 10 years, and our scientists and engineers have made great progress toward that goal. This is an exciting achievement that demonstrates our commitment to increasing the use of sustainable materials in our tires.”
The aforementioned tire boasts 13 featured ingredients across nine different tire components, and the company’s performance indicators have shown the component properties to deliver “strong overall tire performance.”
Goodyear’s new tire features three different carbon blacks that are produced from methane, carbon dioxide, and plant-based oil. Initial life-cycle assessments have shown either reduced carbon emissions compared with current methods of carbon black production or the use of bio-based or waste feedstock sources. Carbon black is included in tires for compound reinforcement and to help increase their life and has traditionally been made by burning various types of petroleum products.
The company is also using soybean oil to keep the rubber compound pliable amid changing temperatures, a move that reduces the need for petroleum-based solutions. Even as nearly all soy protein is used in food/animal feed applications, a significant surplus of oil is left over and available for use in industrial applications.
Silica is an ingredient often used in tires to help improve grip. Goodyear’s new tire contains a unique variety of silica produced from rice husk ash, a byproduct of rice processing that is often discarded and put into landfills. A high-quality silica has been produced from this waste ash.
Lastly, polyester is recycled from plastic bottles and other plastic waste by reverting the polyester into its base chemicals and reforming them into technical grade polyester feasible for tire cords.
Goodyear’s 70% sustainable-material tire has been produced as a demonstration tire.