In September 2014, Goodyear announced plans to use the ash left over from the burning of rice husks as a source of silica for its tires.rice husks
Yesterday, the tiremaker signed a supply agreement with Yihai Food and Oil Industry in China for silica derived from rice husk ash. The tiremaker said it would begin using the silica this year in consumer tires produced at its plant in Pulandian, China, and sold in China.
Goodyear said it has tested the rice husk ash silica over the past two years at its Innovation Center in Akron and found its impact on tire performance to be equal to traditional sources.
“Sustainability is a cornerstone of Goodyear’s innovation efforts,” said Rich Kramer, chairman and CEO. “This new silica benefits the environment in many ways: It reduces waste going into landfills; it requires less energy to produce; and it helps make tires more fuel efficient.”
Each year, more than 700 million tons of rice are harvested worldwide, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and disposing of the rice husks is an environmental challenge. As a result, Goodyear said, husks often are burned to generate electricity and reduce the amount of waste shipped to landfills. While this ash has been converted to silica for several years, only these most recent processes created a silica of a high enough grade to use in tires.
Compared to carbon black, the traditional reinforcing agent for tires, silica reduces rolling resistance and can aid in traction, braking and treadwear. Lower rolling resistance, in turn, improves a car’s fuel economy.
In addition to the agreement with Yihai, Goodyear is negotiating agreements with additional suppliers. Financial details of the agreements are not being released.
Source Tire Review
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