Goodyear unveils sustainable tire

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is showing off a demonstration tire comprising 90% sustainable materials.

The company said its goal is to produce a 100% sustainable tire, and this version is an improvement of the previous edition, which had 70% sustainable content.

This demonstration tire showed lower rolling resistance when compared to a 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.

Goodyear’s 90% sustainable-material demonstration tire includes 17 featured ingredients across 12 different components.
Goodyear’s 90% sustainable-material demonstration tire includes 17 featured ingredients across 12 different components.

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

However, the company said that bringing a 90% sustainable-material tire to market will require further collaboration with the company’s supply base to secure enough of the sustainable input materials for commercial production.

“We continue to make progress toward our goal of introducing the first 100% sustainable-material tire in the industry by 2030,” said 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 utilized our team’s tenacity to not only demonstrate our capabilities to produce a 90% sustainable-material tire, but to also produce a tire with up to 70% sustainable-material content this year.”

The demonstration tire includes 17 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% 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.
  • 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% 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 a high-quality 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 EAF process allows 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.

Goodyear now produces eight product lines, and some racing tires, with soybean oil content. In addition, Goodyear has more than doubled its use of RHA silica in its product lines since 2018. 

The demonstration tire has passed all applicable regulatory testing as well as Goodyear’s internal testing.