Hanover, Germany – Trinseo SA expects to have a new bio-based rubber material “on the table” within the next 12 months, according to Andre Lanning, head of the polymer group’s synthetic rubber (SR) business.
“We are looking into the sourcing of our feedstock and of course we will get into alliances [with biotechnology companies] for the supply of the raw materials,” he told ERJ in an interview at the recent Tire Technology Expo.
Without giving any details about the polymer, Lanning said the bio-rubber would most likely have a higher price tag compared to its petroleum-based counterparts.
On the other hand, he added, legislation and sustainability targets set by end-users will help market push-through – eventually leading to better price points.
Collaboration will also be a key element to the development and adoption of the bio-rubber technology, according to Lanning, who took the helm at Trinseo’s SR unit last November.
“We need to identify a project whereby a tire maker works on using these materials with their customers and can then carry the costs through the value chain,” he said.
Indeed, the executive went on to call on manufacturers and end-users to engage more closely with materials suppliers in order to deliver their sustainability goals.
The move is part of Lanning's strategy to centre the SR activities of Trinseo on sustainability.
“Every major tire maker has ambitious targets in terms of sustainability and… we are in a good position to support them,” he said.
Trinseo, Lanning went on to say,can help tire makers achieve targets by bringing down the rolling resistance and improving abrasion resistance of tires.