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Goodyear unveils demonstration tire made of 90 percent sustainable materials

A close-up of a tire
A Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company tire made of 90 percent sustainable materials. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company unveiled a demonstration tire comprised of 90 percent sustainable materials. The tire contains four different types of carbon black produced from more-sustainable sources, soybean oil, silica produced from rice husk waste residue, polyester from recycled post-consumer bottles, bio-renewable pine tree resins, bead wire and steel cords made from steel with high-recycled content, and ISCC certified mass balance polymers made from bio- and bio-circular feedstock.

Goodyear's demonstration tire has passed all applicable regulatory testing as well as Goodyear's internal testing. The tire also tested to have lower rolling resistance when compared to the reference tire, made with traditional materials. Lower rolling resistance means this demonstration tire has the potential to offer better fuel savings and carbon footprint reduction.

In addition, Goodyear, working with its supply base, plans to sell a tire with up to 70 percent sustainable-material content in 2023.

Bringing a 90 percent sustainable-material tire to market will require further collaboration with the company's supply base to identify the scale necessary for these sustainable materials to produce that specific tire at high volumes.

"We continue to make progress toward our goal of introducing the first 100 percent sustainable-material tire in the industry by 2030," says Chris Helsel, senior vice president and global operations and chief technology officer at Goodyear. "The past year was a pivotal one toward achieving this goal. We researched new technologies, identified opportunities for further collaboration and utilized our team's tenacity to not only demonstrate our capabilities to produce a 90 percent sustainable-material tire, but to also produce a tire with up to 70 percent sustainable-material content this year. Our team continues to showcase its innovation and commitment to building a better future."

This 90 percent sustainable-material demonstration tire includes 17 featured ingredients across 12 different components, including:

  • Carbon black, which is included in tires for compound reinforcement and to help increase their life, has traditionally been made by burning various types of petroleum products. Goodyear's 90 percent sustainable material demonstration tire features four different types of carbon black that are produced from methane, carbon dioxide, plant-based oil, and end-of-life tire pyrolysis oil feedstocks. These carbon black technologies target reduced carbon emissions, circularity, and the use of bio-based carbons, while still delivering on performance.
  • The use of soybean oil in this demonstration tire helps keep the tire's 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 percent 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 tires to help improve grip and reduce fuel consumption. This demonstration tire includes silica produced from rice husk waste residue (RHA silica), a byproduct 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 tire cords.
  • Resins are used to help improve and enhance tire traction performance. In this demonstration tire, 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. This demonstration tire uses bead wire and steel cord from steel with high-recycled content, which is produced using the electric arc furnace (EAF) process. The utilization 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 in comparison with steel produced using a blast furnace.
  • ISCC certified mass balance polymers from bio- and bio-circular feedstock are also included in this tire.

The shift to sustainable materials is evident in some of Goodyear's current product lines. Eight product lines, and some racing tires, include soybean oil. In addition, Goodyear has more than doubled its use of RHA silica in its product lines since 2018.

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