Goodyear Developing Soybean Tires
Goodyear announced a development that could help consumers and the environment by reducing the amount of petroleum-based oil used in tires, while at the same time, extending tread life.
Goodyear researchers at the company’s Innovation Center here have found in their tests that using soybean oil in tires can potentially increase tread life by 10 percent and reduce the tiremaker’s use of petroleum-based oil by up to seven million gallons each year.
In addition, testing at Goodyear’s tire plant in Lawton, Oklahoma showed improved mixing capabilities in the manufacturing process. The company found that rubber compounds made with soybean oil blend more easily with the silica used in building tires. This can improve plant efficiency and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Prototype tires built in Lawton will be tested at Goodyear’s Proving Grounds in San Angelo, Texas in the coming months. If indicators remain positive, Goodyear expects consumers will be able to purchase tires made with soybean oil as early as 2015.
The United Soybean Board (USB) is helping fund the Goodyear project with a grant of $500,000 over two years. Goodyear will display a tire made with soybean oil on August 6-7 at The Ford Motor Company’s research center in Dearborn, Michigan, as part of an event sponsored by the USB.
The use of soybean oil is just one of the initiatives Goodyear is currently undertaking to increase its use of renewable raw materials. Goodyear and DuPont Industrial Biosciences continue to work together to develop BioIsoprene, a revolutionary bio-based alternative for petroleum-derived isoprene. BioIsoprene can be used for the production of synthetic rubber—which in turn is an alternative for natural rubber—and other elastomers. The development of BioIsoprene will help further reduce the tire and rubber industry’s dependence on petroleum-derived products.
Another effort underway in Goodyear to save non-renewable fossil fuel is Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology (AMT). AMT will help enable tires to remain inflated at the optimum pressure – without the need for any external pumps or electronics. All components of the AMT system will be fully contained within the tire. The potential benefits of such a system include improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, longer tire life, enhanced safety and performance.
- Geneva 2008: New Diesel Engines for Ford Mondeo, Ford S-MAX and Ford Galaxy
- MIT Scientists Find New Way to Generate Electricity
- SolarCity, Rabobank to Build Fast-Charge Electric Car Charging Corridor
- High Performance, 92 Mpg High Mileage 3 Wheel Sport Car
- 2007 Frankfurt Preview: Peugeot 308RC Z Concept Car