Michelin and Bridgestone to collaborate on more efficient tyre production

Bridgestone Corporation and Michelin Group are teaming up to make tyre production more sustainable.

The pair are set to make a presentation on November 22 about increasing the amount of recovered carbon black used in the creation of new tyres. Carbon black – a key component of tyres – is a sooty product that comes from the burning of petrochemicals. It’s added to tyres in order to protect them from UV damage and helps to make them stronger and more durable. It’s also the reason why tyres are black.

But despite an estimated one billion tyres reaching the end of their service life each year, less than one per cent of all carbon black material used globally in new tyre production comes from recycled used tyres. This is put down to a ‘weak supply pipeline for the recovery and reuse of carbon black’.

Bridgestone and Michelin are presenting a vision to reduce the tyre industry’s reliance on petrochemicals to produce carbon black, instead replacing it with the recovery and reuse of used tyres. The pair claim that using recovered carbon black in new tyre production reduces CO2 emissions by up to 85 per cent compared with starting from scratch.

Jake Rønsholt, vice president of strategy and transformation, Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, said: “Increasing use of recovered carbon black in tyres is critical to achieving Bridgestone’s vision for sustainable mobility,”

“Together with Michelin and other stakeholders, we can generate critical momentum on this important initiative and advance our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and manufacture products from fully renewable and sustainable materials.”

At the upcoming conference, the pair will highlight a plan to promote and increase the use of recovered carbon black in tyre and other rubber products.

​​Sander Vermeulen, vice president, end-of-life rubber products recycling business, Michelin, said: “For years discussions have been ongoing about the different constraints and hurdles that were preventing the rubber industry from adopting recycled and or recovered raw materials in significant quantities.

“We felt it was the time to stop discussing and actively contribute to finding solutions that would enable the rubber industry as a whole to become more circular by increasing its ability to adopt recycled and or recovered materials from end-of-life tyres. I am delighted that we found a partner in Bridgestone that shares our vision, and together we invite stakeholders across the tyre and rubber value chain to participate in the journey toward material circularity.”