A year after unveiling a prototype tyre containing 70 per cent sustainable materials, Goodyear has announced the upcoming market launch of such a product. It intends to begin selling tyres with up to 70 per cent sustainable-material content later this year. Details about the 70 per cent tyre set to launch in 2023 are thin on the ground, but a US market-focused Goodyear site invites “consumers interested in purchasing this tyre” to register for updates.
The tyre maker has increased the quantity of sustainable materials in its most recent prototype tyre, and in January 2023 presented a demonstration tyre containing 90 per cent sustainable materials. The commercial launch of such a product is inevitable, but the tyre maker stresses that bringing a 90 per cent tyre to market “will require further collaboration” with its supply base to “identify the scale necessary for these materials when producing such a tyre at high volumes.”
90% demonstration tyre with lower rolling resistance
The newly unveiled 90 per cent demonstration tyre has passed all applicable regulatory testing, and Goodyear’s own internal testing shows the tyre has lower rolling resistance when compared to a reference tyre made with traditional materials.
The 90 per cent tyre includes 17 featured ingredients across 12 different components:
• In place of carbon black made by burning various types of petroleum products, the 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. 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 helps keep the tyre’s rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures. Soybean oil is a bio-based resource, and although almost 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 tyres to help improve grip and reduce fuel consumption. This demonstration tyre includes a high-quality silica produced from rice husk waste residue (RHA silica), 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 this 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 tyre. This 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 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 tyre.
Progress towards 100% sustainable materials
“We continue to make progress toward our goal of introducing the first 100 per cent sustainable-material tyre in the industry by 2030,” says Chris Helsel, senior vice president, global operations and chief technology officer. “The past year was a pivotal one toward achieving this goal. We researched new technologies, identified opportunities for further collaboration and utilised our team’s tenacity to not only demonstrate our capabilities to produce a 90 per cent sustainable-material tyre, but to also produce a tyre with up to 70 per cent sustainable-material content this year. Our team continues to showcase its innovation and commitment to building a better future.”