Seoul – Kumho Petrochemical Co. has started using “eco-friendly biosilica” extracted from rice husk for the production of synthetic rubber composites, including its high-performance styrene solution butadiene rubber (SSBR) products.
In a recent statement, the Korean manufacturer said the synthetic rubber composites maximised the dispersion properties of biosilica and SSBR, adding that it expected to supply the high-performance materials to major domestic and foreign tire and shoe manufacturers.
Silica is a filler material used to reinforce synthetic rubber for high-performance tires, improving the fuel efficiency, braking distance and wear resistance of tires.
Up until now, Kumho said it was using quartz-based silica for the purpose.
The switch to the rice-based biosilica, it said, will be “highly energy-efficient and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 70% compared to the existing method.”
Kumho currently manufactures 63 kilotonnes per annum of SSBR at its manufacturing plant in South Korea.
“We will continue to strengthen our performance in ESG management and think deeply about a sustainable business by developing next-generation eco-friendly materials in the future,” said Kumho Petrochemical CEO Jong Hoon Baek.