ERJ staff report (PR)
Akron, Ohio - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is using ash left over from the burning of rice husks as a source of silica for use in fuel-efficient tires, the company said 22 Sept.
The announcement follows tests on the husk-derived silica over the past two years at Goodyear’s R&D centre in Akron. These, said the tire maker, established that the filler matches the performance of silica traditionally used in tire compounds.
The material “will provide Goodyear with an alternative source of silica, while helping reduce the amount of rice husk waste being landfilled," said Joseph Zekoski, interim chief technical officer at Goodyear, which is now negotiating with potential suppliers of rice husk ash silica.
Disposing of rice husks is an environmental challenge with the waste product often are burned to generate electricity and reduce the amount going to landfills, Goodyear noted.
The United Nations estimates that over 700 million tonnes of rice is harvested worldwide each year.