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To advance Goodyear’s sustainable material use, our Technology teams work to incorporate new innovations and use and/or investigate alternative raw materials that are more sustainable.
- Soybean oil tread compound is now used in four tire lines – the Assurance WeatherReady™, Eagle Enforcer All Weather™, Eagle Exhiliarate™ and Assurance ComfortDrive™ instead of petroleum oil to create more sustainable rubber with added traction benefits. Due to production effects related to COVID-19 during 2020, our use of soybean oil increased by 73% -- an increase that fell short of our 100% target. Our long-term goal of full petroleum oil replacement in our products by 2040 remains in place.
- Rice husk ash silica, a byproduct of rice processing, is being used to help deliver similar performance as traditional sand-based silica with less environmental impact and waste to landfills. We are working closely with our suppliers to explore further expanding the use of RHA silica and have set a goal to double our use by 2021. We have made significant progress toward that goal as our 2019 usage increased by 74%. However, COVID-19 related effects on production impacted our 2020 use of RHA silica, resulting in an increase of 47% compared to 2018 use. Additionally, we demonstrated the capability to build a tire with no petroleum-based content and 100% rice husk ash silica as a replacement for traditional filler materials like carbon black and/or sand-based silica.
- Dandelion rubber is a potential alternative raw material to traditional rubber. Goodyear is currently a part of The Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA) to research the feasibility of sourcing natural rubber from Russian dandelions, which only take six months to reach maturity for harvesting as opposed to rubber trees, which take seven years. Dandelions can also grow in harsher climate conditions than rubber trees, allowing growth and harvesting to be moved closer to production facilities.
- Synthetic rubber is an alternative to natural rubber and is typically made from petroleum-derived materials. In a joint program with DuPont Industrial Biosciences, we developed and patented a biobased BioIsoprene™ monomer that can help Goodyear to produce high-quality synthetic rubber without depending on an oil-based feedstock. BioIsoprene™ is made from a renewable carbohydrate source that could help Goodyear reduce our carbon footprint.