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Green credentials important to Goodyear

Tyre fire: Goodyear has been developing new silica materials to reinforce its tyres from the ash of burnt and discarded rice husks, according to Goodyear Asia Pacific vice president of product development David Zanzig (right).

New environmentally friendly components, TSA boosts Goodyear’s green reputation

7 Aug 2017


GOODYEAR is developing new and sustainable materials for use in its tyres, as well as being a vocal member of Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), in a bid to lower its environmental impact and play up its green qualifications.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of its EfficientGrip Performance (EGP) SUV tyre last week, Goodyear Asia Pacific vice president of product development David Zanzig revealed that the tyre manufacturer is working on recycling waste products for use in its rubber.

“We have a lot of material development on renewable resources, one of the most exciting new materials that we worked on recently – that we first worked on in India and then in China – was with rice husk, and taking the ash after those husks are burned to generate electricity,” he said.

“One of the big issues was there was all this ash sitting on the sides of the road that basically were going into landfill, they didn’t know what to do with it. We analysed it and we found a material silica that we used to reinforce the rubber.

“Now we have to do a little bit extra processing to get the performance out of it, but that’s a fantastic story of taking a waste and making it something of value and putting it back into our tyres.”

In addition to using discarded rice husks, Mr Zanzig also divulged that the company is also developing new and sustainable materials for improved tyre life.

“We’ve also done a lot of work with soy-bean oil,” he said. “We found out that it can improve the tread-wear performance of our tyres, so we’re starting to incorporate that into some of our developments but we have a lot of research into renewable materials.”

In addition to working with new renewable materials, Goodyear’s Australian division has also been a key player in TSA – an organisation which formed to develop markets for end-of-life tyres.

Goodyear brand manager for Australia and New Zealand Tony Kiernan said TSA is important to the brand and that “the tyre industry has to put its hand up and be involved”.

“There are certain levels, one is the obvious one – disposal of used tyres and how that looks and the risks there,” he said. “Right now there is not enough industry to take those tyres, for instance its used in road surfacing, playground surfacing, rubber pellet type stuff, that’s all good, but it’s not enough.

“So what TSA is really working on now is a big new industry to use the rubber and that means there is growth opportunity in the country and at the same time, the eco benefits from having those tyres looked after and taken care of properly.”

Goodyear Asia Pacific vice president of consumer tyres Mike Rytokoski reaffirmed the tyre-maker’s commitment to an environmentally friendly approach to developing and producing rubber.

“Our corporate strategy is very much to be focussed on green and being environmentally friendly – in choice of materials, in choice of how do we design our factories, how do we manufacture, minimise waste and anything going into landfill, and materials that we choose to use in the tyres,” he said.

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