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2 weeks ago

Nokian Tyres to Replace Carbon Black with a Renewable Material in a Concept Tire

Nokian Tyres, a leading developer and manufacturer of premium tires, and UPM, a leading biomaterials production expert, are partnering to further increase sustainability in the tire industry by introducing the first concept tire made with a new renewable material with the potential to replace a significant part of the carbon black currently used in tire production.

The innovative material, called UPM BioMotion™ RFF is a promising fully renewable lignin-based alternative for traditional carbon black, reducing the need for fossil materials and lowering carbon emissions in tire manufacturing.

Nokian Tyres has long been innovating to use the material and has registered a patent for using the material in tire applications. Nokian Tyres is now licensing its patent to UPM, which enables UPM to provide the raw material to the tire industry. UPM will produce the material at its soon to be ready biochemicals biorefinery in Leuna, Germany.

“Our partnership with Nokian Tyres marks the exciting entry of our Renewable Functional Fillers into the global tire markets. In successfully demonstrating their application value, it helps us to lay the groundwork for scaling our biorefinery business so that we can make a significant contribution to the sustainable transformation of the mobility sector and beyond,” says Michael Duetsch, Vice President Biochemicals at UPM.

Nokian Tyres Green Step Ligna – the first ever concept tire made with the fully renewable lignin raw material UPM BioMotion™ RFF

Nokian Tyres Green Step Ligna concept tire is the first ever tire made with UPM BioMotion™ RFF, a fully renewable wood-based lignin raw material produced by UPM. In the concept tire all fossil carbon black in the tire’s sidewalls is replaced by the new raw material.

“With the concept tire we demonstrate the usability of the groundbreaking new raw material in tires. Our concept tire marks a leap towards the use of renewable materials not only for us, but the whole tire industry. By prototyping this renewable material in our tires, we aim to set new standards for environmental responsibility,” says Teemu Soini, VP, Innovations & Development at Nokian Tyres.

The first Nokian Tyres concept tire containing UPM BioMotion™ RFF will be exhibited at the German rubber industry conference DKT 2024 in Nürnberg, Germany, from July 1–4 at the UPM booth 527 in Hall 9.

Features superior to carbon black

“We are constantly working on innovations that advance us towards our target of increasing the share of recycled or renewable raw materials in tires to 50 percent by 2030. Since 2022 a portion of the carbon black used by Nokian Tyres has been from recycled materials. We see lignin as a promising renewable alternative to traditional carbon black, and in the future, we hope to see that lignin based renewable filler materials would find their way to tires as well complementing an increasing share of recycled content,” explains Teemu Soini.

Currently carbon black is used as a reinforcing filler in tires enhancing properties such as strength and resilience. According to initial lab tests UPM BioMotion™ RFF has features superior to traditional carbon black. Replacing a significant part of the carbon black currently used in tires with the new renewable filler material offers great potential for more sustainable tires as fillers represent approximately 30 percent of a tire’s raw materials.

UPM will first supply UPM BioMotion RFF to Nokian Tyres for prototyping. This includes rigorous testing to use the new material in production. Nokian Tyres is carefully evaluating the material’s performance, safety, and environmental impact compared to traditional carbon black. …

Source: Nokian Tyres

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