Michelin has announced plans to develop innovative technology for the production of environmentally friendly tires. According to the specialists’ idea, in the manufacture of tires, engineers will use both recycled plastic and secondary waste, including rice husks and corn straw.
At the moment, the main components that are used in the creation of tires are rubbers obtained from oil. They are based on a synthetic polymer – butadiene, which provides reliable grip and slip resistance on wet roads, as well as is resistant to abrasion. According to statistics, a modern tire is 24% petroleum polymers.
Michelin is considering replacing synthetic materials with recycled plastics from packaging materials and plastic containers. In addition, when creating a new generation of tires, engineers plan to use natural biomass. In particular, wood waste, rice husks and corn straw will be used in production processes. According to experts, such technologies will allow to create completely eco-friendly tires without harm to the environment by 2050.
Another project that will appeal to the “green” activists will be a tire recycling plant, which Michelin together with the Swedish company Enviro will deploy in Chile. The capacity of the innovative enterprise will be enough to process up to 30 thousand tons of tires per year, which is about 60 percent of all tires handed over by local residents for recycling. The new facility, in which both companies are investing about $ 30 million, is expected to be built in South America in 2023.
In early February, MINI announced that it would stop using natural leather for the upholstery of future models in favor of the environment. According to representatives of the brand, abandoning natural leather will be a key factor in the transition to the so-called nature-saving economy.