Road Tire Compound With Soybean Oil Increases Durability by 10%

Tire manufacturer Goodyear are developing a type of tire that has multiple benefits, thanks to the inclusion of soybean oil in the compound of the tire. Apparently, Goodyear’s Innovation Center in the US has determined that the addition of soybean oil to the tire compound will actually increase the life span of the tire by 10%.
Goodyear Soybean 1 photo
Photo: Goodyear / autoevolution
This is great news, since it means that 31.5 million liters of oil per year would be saved from use in the manufacturing process, as around 18 liters of oil are wasted used per tire (oil will not be entirely replaced, though). According to Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s chief technical officer, “Goodyear is committed to caring for the environment and communities, and use of soybean oil is proving to be another way to accomplish this goal. Consumers benefit through improved tread life, Goodyear gains with increased efficiency and energy savings and we all win whenever there is a positive impact on the environment.

It seems that Goodyear’s good idea has attracted the attention of the United Soybean Board (USB), with Russ Carpenter (USB’s New Uses Committee Chair, as well as a soybean farmer himself) saying “the United Soybean Board congratulates Goodyear for its commitment to sustainability. The ongoing discovery of novel applications for soybean oil validates our commitment to the environment, cultivating a renewable feedstock that reduces carbon emissions and provides a natural replacement for petrochemical alternatives. The USB and America’s soybean farmers are excited to support Goodyear in this effort to provide consumers with cost-effective, Eco-friendly products.

Goodyear has already begun testing of the ‘special’ tires, testing which will continue well into the coming few months, ahead of an expected 2015 public debut. We hope they go the whole way and make tires entirely out of soybean oil, but we admit that this is a very promising first step which needs to be supported and encouraged.
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