Amsterdam – Bridgestone Corp. and Michelin Group have set up a website as a communications platform for their joint initiative to increase the use of recovered carbon black (rCB) in new tires.
The move follows a combined presentation by the world two largest tire makers at the Smithers Recovered Carbon Black Conference on 22-23 Nov in Amsterdam.
At the event, officials from Bridgestone and Michelin delivered a joint perspective on how the use of rCB from end-of-life tires (ELTs) could contribute to ‘safer, cleaner and more sustainable mobility.’
On the new website, the companies explained that they are working towards removing ‘significant barriers’ in the way of achieving material circularity at a scale that is necessary to realise a cleaner mobility.
Using rCB in new tires cuts CO2 emissions from carbon black production by 85% compared to virgin materials, they stated, adding that less than 1% of all carbon black used in new tire production globally is recovered.
Increasing rCB utilisation by substituting 10% of virgin carbon black would reduce CO2 emissions globally by up 2 million tonnes annually, the tire makers went on to claim.
Next items on the agenda for Michelin and Bridgestone include the publication of a white paper in the first half of 2022. This will present the "preferred characteristics" for rCB use in tires, while also addressing issues around current limitations on its wider adoption.
In addition to the white paper, Bridgestone and Michelin said they would begin to "facilitate a dialogue" with stakeholders across the value-chain interested in joining this initiative.
This will focus “on creating a needed dialogue about utilisation of recovered carbon black material across the tire and rubber value chain.”
Bridgestone and Michelin also stressed that they remain “competitors who each have their own unique perspective concerning investment.”
Bridgestone has made a minority investment in Delta Energy Group, which supplies rCB to the America’s business of the Japanese group.
Michelin has partnered with Swedish recycler Enviro to develop and industrialise Enviro’s ELT pyrolysis technology.
The French group also participates in consortiums dedicated to the circular economy, such as the European consortium behind the BlackCycle project.