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 petroleum-produced black carbon, Goodyear used one that was made with methane, carbon dioxide and vegetable oils.
The company says the production methods its suppliers have used to create sustainable black carbon generate 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. The company had aimed to use 100 percent soybean oil in four of its tire lines in 2020, but failed due to production problems caused by the COVID-19 virus.
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 abundant in rice-producing countries. Researchers have investigated its use as an alternative to cement and as a source of silica. According to Goodwill, they were able to produce high-quality silica from waste materials.
Furthermore, 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.
The 70 percent sustainable tire “is an exciting achievement that demonstrates the company’s commitment to increasing the use of sustainable materials,” said Chris Hillsell, Goodyear’s chief technology officer. However, it was made as a trial product, and the company has not yet revealed whether it will be released to the public.