Michelin bares tyre innovation plan; focuses on renewable, recyclable tyres

June 2, 2018

MichelinFrench tyre maker, Michelin outlines its 30-year road map,  including plan of increasing the content of recyclable or renewable materials in its tyres by 2048, during the recent World Summit on Sustainable Mobility (Movin’On) event, held in Canada.

“By 2048, 100% of all tyres will be recycled. Worldwide, Michelin says 70% of tyres are recovered, and 50% are recycled, “ it disclosed.

At present the company’s tyres are made of 26% bio sourced materials such as sunflower oil, limonene, natural rubber, and other such materials;  and 2% recycled steel or recycled rubber powder.

Cyrille Roget,  scientific and innovation communication chief at  Michelin, said that the tyre manufacturer cannot realise its goals without partnerships with others in the industry, inclusive of tyre recyclers and other tyre manufacturers.

Nicolas Beaumont, Director of the Movin’ On summit and Senior Vice President of sustainable development and mobility, says the goals will keep the company moving forward. “We need to move from a mission to action.”

Michelin hinges on its ongoing investments in new research and technologies, as well as creative partnerships to enable its plans.

Among its undertakings, the Biobutterfly programme, launched in 2012, is focused on to creating synthetic elastomers from biomass such as wood, straw or beets.

In October 2017 Michelin acquired Lehigh Technologies Inc, a company that transforms the rubber from end-of-life tyres into material that can be used in new tyres, and other products. The micronised rubber powders that Lehigh creates can be substituted for oil- and rubber-based feedstocks in lots of applications, including tyres.

Combined, the efforts to make tyres of more sustainable goods and recycle every tyre would save 33 million barrels of oil a year. That’s equal to the amount of power consumed by all of France in a single month, Michelin said.

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