Goodyear/Visolis to produce biobased isoprene

Goodyear/Visolis to produce biobased isopreneTyre maker Goodyear has tied up with Visolis, a pioneering sustainable technology company, to produce isoprene through the upcycling of biobased materials. This collaboration is supported by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded to Visolis earlier this year.

Isoprene, an important precursor for some types of synthetic rubber, is a hydrocarbon that is typically generated as a by-product from refining crude oil. Isoprene units are polymerised into long chains using a catalyst to produce polyisoprene, which is used as a raw material in manufacturing tyres and other items.

The Visolis and Goodyear collaboration will leverage Visolis’ technology to produce high-quality isoprene from lignocellulosic feedstocks, which are non-edible biomass and agricultural materials. Visolis conducted an initial carbon footprint analysis to explore the reduction potential of its process and will continue to evaluate reductions further as part of its collaboration project with Goodyear.

“We are excited to collaborate with Goodyear and leverage our revolutionary technology to transform waste materials into valuable monomers,” said Dr. Deepak Dugar, CEO of Visolis. “This partnership is a testament to our shared commitment to sustainable practices and the development of advanced materials that drive positive change.”

“We believe that innovation and collaboration is key to making progress along our sustainability journey and helping us achieve our goals, including net-zero value chain emissions by 2050,” said Chris Helsel, senior vice president, Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer, Goodyear. “By working with companies like Visolis, we are able to continue to learn, innovate and help build a better future.”

Goodyear says it actively seeks sustainable material* options that deliver product performance while meeting the company’s high standards of quality and safety. To advance the company’s sustainable material use, Goodyear’s technology teams work to investigate new alternative raw materials and incorporate innovative solutions.

One example of this is the 90% sustainable-material demonstration tyre Goodyear unveiled earlier this year. Goodyear, working with its supply base, plans to sell a tyre with up to 70% sustainable materials this year.