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Goodyear uses rice husks to produce fuel-efficient tires

POSTED BY ON 23 September 2014

goodyear_rice_husk

Who would have thought that rice husk waste would be of good use?

In fact, Goodyear Tire & Rubber is making use of rice husk, which is largely considered a waste product, to produce fuel-efficient tires. The question is how?

Apparently, Goodyear will convert ash left over from the burning of rice husks into electricity as an environmentally friendly source of silica for use in its tires.

For the past two years, the company has tested silica extracted from rice husk ash over at its innovation center here and found its impact on tire performance to be equal to traditional sources.

“Goodyear’s innovation efforts are focused on making tires more environmentally friendly – in their materials, in their performance and in the manufacturing process,” said Zekoski.

“We continue to explore ways to increase the fuel efficiency of our tires and at the same time, strive to help consumers keep their tires operating optimally, through innovations such as Air Maintenance Technology (AMT),” he said.

Goodyear is in the midst of negotiating with potential suppliers to purchase rice husk ash silica for use in its tires.

Rubber is mixed together with silica in tire treads to strengthen the rubber and help reduce rolling resistance, which improves fuel economy. It also improves the tire’s traction on wet surfaces.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, over 700 million tons of rice is harvested worldwide each year. Disposing of the rice husks only impacts the environment.

As a result, husks are often burned to generate electricity and reduce the amount of waste landfilled.

Goodyear is also looking into exploiting renewable resources, such as soy bean oil, to replace petroleum-based materials in tires.

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