A new genre of tires: Call 'em 'sweet' and 'green'

Dec 14, 2011

Motorists may be driving on the world's first "green" tires within the next few years, as partnerships between tire companies and biotechnology firms make it possible to produce key raw materials for tires from sugar rather than petroleum or rubber trees. Those new bio-based tires — already available as prototypes— are the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

C&EN Senior Business Editor Melody M. Bomgardner explains that tight supplies and high prices for the natural and synthetic rubber used to make tires — almost 1 billion annually worldwide —are fostering the drive toward renewable, sustainable sources for raw materials. , for instance, is the traditional source for raw materials needed to make tires, with a single tire requiring almost 7 gallons of oil. But changes in oil-refining practices have reduced supplies of those raw materials.

The article describes how companies like Goodyear and Michelin have teamed up with biotechnology firms to genetically engineer microbes that produce the key for rubber from sugar. Goodyear's partner Genencor, for example, is making microbes that mimic rubber trees' natural processes to make latex rubber. Goodyear has already produced prototype tires with rubber made from sugar. Bomgardner explains that companies hope will buffer them against future shortages of natural and synthetic ingredients, with "sweet" tires making a debut within 3-5 years.

Explore further: Recycling industrial waste water: Scientists discover a new method of producing hydrogen

More information: Making Rubber From Renewables, cen.acs.org/articles/89/i50/Making-Rubber-Renewables.html

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Cave_Man
1 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2011
Did you know in the mid-late 20th century biologists we all set to use specialized rubber trees to solve americas need for high quality latex polymer? They had trees that were disease resistant, hardy and adaptable to the climate of the United States. However Big Oil decided to kill this program because they stood to lose billions of dollars from lost sales of their INFERIOR product, oil derived polymers.

The new latex trees would have provided more than enough latex to make pure latex car tires, these would have been FAR superior to current tires as they would not need to be replaced for the entire lifetime of the vehicle. Not to mention they would not be releasing millions of tons of poisonous dust into the air from constant use and wear.

God damn the greedy!

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