In 2020, Goodyear pledged to develop a new tire made entirely from sustainable materials over the next decade. Today the company unveiled a tire that contains 70 percent sustainable materials, demonstrating the progress it has made toward achieving its ultimate goal. The tire is made of 13 components across nine different tire components, including three different colors of carbon black that are traditionally made by burning petroleum products.
Carbon black is commonly used as a filler to strengthen tires, as well as other rubber products, and extend their life. Instead of using black carbon produced using petroleum, Goodyear used those that were made using methane, carbon dioxide, and vegetable oils. The company says the production methods its suppliers have used to create sustainable carbon black generates fewer carbon emissions than traditional processes.
Goodyear also uses soybean oil in certain tire lines in place of petroleum oil, which is no different. Soybean oil allows tires to remain flexible in changing temperatures with added traction benefits. The company had been aiming to use 100 percent soybean oil in four of its tire lines in 2020, but failed due to production issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goodyear’s new tire uses a variety of silica, which improves tire grip and helps reduce fuel consumption made from rice husk ash as well. Rice husk ash is a by-product of rice milling, which is abundantly available in rice-producing countries. Researchers have researched its use as an alternative to cement and as a source of silica, and according to good intentions, it has been able to produce high-quality silica from waste materials. In addition, the company has broken down recycled polyester materials from plastic bottles and other plastic waste into basic chemicals. It was then made into a high-quality polyester used for tire cords that keep the tire’s shape.
Goodyear’s chief technology officer, Chris Hillsell, said the 70 percent sustainable tire “is an exciting achievement that demonstrates [the company’s] Commitment to increasing the use of sustainable materials. However, it was manufactured as a trial product, and the company has not yet revealed whether it will be released to the public.
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