(Almost) Wholly Sustainable

3rd February 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has unveiled a demonstration tyre comprised of 90% sustainable materials.

This demonstration tyre has passed all applicable regulatory testing in the US, as well as the company’s internal testing procedures.

The company says the demonstration tyre has also proved to have lower rolling resistance, compared with the reference tyre, made with traditional materials.

Lower rolling resistance means the demonstration tyre has the potential to offer better fuel savings and carbon footprint reduction.

This announcement comes after Goodyear last year demonstrated its ability to produce a 70% sustainable-material tyre.

Goodyear, working with its supply base, now plans to start selling a tyre with up to 70% sustainable-material content this year.

Bringing a 90% sustainable-material tyre to market will, however, require further collaboration with the company’s supply base to identify the scale necessary to produce the materials for that specific tyre at high volumes.

“We continue to make progress toward our goal of introducing the first 100% sustainable-material tyre in the industry by 2030,” says Goodyear global operations senior VP and CTO Chris Helsel.

“The past year was a pivotal one toward achieving this goal.”

This 90% sustainable-material demonstration tyre includes 17 featured ingredients across 12 different components.

These include carbon black, used in tyres for compound reinforcement and to help increase the life span. It has traditionally been made by burning various types of petroleum products.

Goodyear’s 90% sustainable-material demonstration tyre features four different types of carbon black that are produced from methane, carbon dioxide, plant-based oil and end-of-life tyre pyrolysis oil feedstocks.

The use of soybean oil in the demonstration tyre helps keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures.

Soybean oil is a bio-based resource that helps to reduce Goodyear’s use of petroleum-based products.

While nearly 100% of 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 tyres to help improve grip and reduce fuel consumption.

The demonstration tyre includes a silica produced from rice husk waste residue, a by-product of rice processing that is often discarded and put into landfills.

Polyester is recycled from post-consumer bottles by reverting the polyester into base chemicals and reforming them into technical-grade polyester used in tyre cords.

Resins are used to help improve and enhance tyre traction performance.

In the 90% demonstration tyre, traditional petroleum-based resins are replaced with bio-renewable pine tree resins.

Bead wire and steel cords provide reinforcement in the structure of a radial tire.

The demonstration tyre uses bead wire and steel cord from steel with high-recycled content, which is produced using the electric arc furnace (EAF) process.

The utilisation of the EAF process allows for steel to be produced with reduced energy use and higher recycled content.

The EAF process has the potential for lower greenhouse-gas emissions, compared with steel produced using a blast furnace.

A sustainable material is defined as a bio-based/renewable, recycled material or one that may be produced using or contributing to other sustainable practices for resource conservation and/or emissions reductions.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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