17 April 2013 18:41 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN FRANCISCO (ICIS)--Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone is on the path to make all of its tyres 100% sustainable by 2050, a company official said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the International Institute for Synthetic Rubber Producers Annual General Meeting, Hiroshi Mouri, president of Bridgestone ?xml:namespace>
One area of focus is increasing the sustainability of natural rubber, which Mouri said is “renewable but it is not sustainable”. Natural rubber has a history of extinction, most notably the leaf blight disease that wiped out all of the natural rubber trees in
Mouri said that he sees a 50% increase in demand for natural rubber over the next 10 years and that for natural rubber to be sustainable the crop must be diversified beyond
To diversify the natural rubber supply, Bridgestone is looking at guayule, a plant that can grow in arid climates in
Mouri said that the 100% sustainable tyre that Bridgestone showed at the Paris Motor Show was made partially from natural rubber from guayule.
Bridgestone is also researching how to make natural rubber from the Russian dandelion, which can grow in temperate climates such as the US Midwest and w
Bridgestone also recently decoded the DNA sequence of rubber trees and is using it to create disease-resistant rubber.
While Bridgestone mostly uses natural rubber in its sustainable tyres, Mouri said Bridgestone recently partnered with Ajinomoto, a Japanese company that is working on a process that uses bacteria that turns a biomass into isoprene, which can be used to make synthetic rubber.
Rubber from biomass is “still far away,” Mouri said. In the near term, he said the synthetic rubber industry will rely heavily on both on-purpose butadiene and on-purpose isoprene.
Bridgestone is also looking at creating sustainable tyre cord from cellulosic fibre.?xml:namespace>
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