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Goodyear to source silica for its tyres from rice husks

Team OD  /
28 Sep 2014

As part of its environment conservation initiative, Goodyear is now planning to employ an alternate resource for silica for its tyres- residue left after generating electricity from rice husks.

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Rice husks are usually burnt as a sustainable source of electricity, leaving behind an ash-like residue, which is usually discarded. However, this residue can also be recovered and silica can be extracted from it. The company claims that the silica thus derived has the same properties as material sourced from traditional means, in terms of impact on tyre performance. Silica is mixed with rubber in tyre treads to enhance strength and help reduce rolling resistance, which in turn aids fuel economy. It also improves the tyre's traction on wet surfaces.

 Goodyear's innovation efforts are focused on making tyres more environmentally friendly - in their materials, in their performance and in the manufacturing process," says Joseph Zekoski, interim chief technical officer at Goodyear,  For example, we continue to explore ways to increase the fuel efficiency of tires. We strive to help consumers keep their tyres operating optimally, through innovations such as Air Maintenance Technology (AMT). And we look to renewable resources, including soy bean oil, to replace petroleum-based materials in tyres."

The company is currently negotiating with potential suppliers to purchase rice husk ash silica for use in its tires.

Goodyear Converts Waste from Rice Harvest to Fuel-Efficient Tire Treads


Rice Husk Ash Becomes Tire-Grade Silica AKRON, Ohio, September 23, 2014 – Rice husk waste once headed for landfills is now helping The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company produce fuel-efficient tires. Goodyear today announced it will utilize ash left over from the burning of rice husks to produce electricity as an environmentally friendly source of silica for use in its tires. The company has tested silica derived from rice husk ash over the past two years at its Innovation Center here and found its impact on tire performance to be equal to traditional sources. Goodyear is negotiating with potential suppliers to purchase rice husk ash silica for use in its tires. "The use of rice husk ash will provide Goodyear an alternative source of silica while helping reduce the amount of rice husk waste being landfilled," said Joseph Zekoski, Interim Chief Technical Officer. "This illustrates Goodyear's commitment to innovation and to the environment." Each year, more than 700 million tons of rice is 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, husks often are burned to generate electricity and reduce the amount of waste shipped to landfills. Silica is mixed with rubber in tire treads to increase the rubber's strength and help reduce rolling resistance, which improves fuel economy. It also can have a positive impact on a tire's traction on wet surfaces. "Goodyear's innovation efforts are focused on making tires more environmentally friendly – in their materials, in their performance and in the manufacturing process," said Zekoski. "For example, we continue to explore ways to increase the fuel efficiency of tires. We strive to help consumers keep their tires operating optimally, through innovations such as Air Maintenance Technology (AMT). And we look to renewable resources, including soy bean oil, to replace petroleum-based materials in tires."
  

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