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Bridgestone exploring end-of-life tyre recycling

Bridgestone Americas has partnered with carbon capture and transformation (CCT) company, LanzaTech to address end-of-life tyre (ELT) waste.

The two companies will co-develop the first dedicated end-of-life tyre recycling process leveraging LanzaTech’s proprietary CCT technology, creating a pathway toward tyre material circularity and the decarbonisation of new tyre production.

According to the Tire Industry Project operating under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), more than one billion tyres globally reach the end of their useful service life each year.

Bridgestone and LanzaTech said they will work to address this issue by converting end-of-life tyres into new materials, including exploring processes to create sustainable synthetic rubber that does not rely on petrochemicals.

“We are excited to join forces with LanzaTech to co-create a more sustainable pathway for end-of-life tyres,” said Paolo Ferrari, president & CEO, Bridgestone Americas. “The steps we take today are determining the health of our planet for future generations. We are determined to meet the moment with sustainable innovation that transforms the way tyres are made and promotes end-to-end material circularity.”

Bridgestone and LanzaTech will seek to develop a new business model that will create a post-consumer waste management strategy for ELTs, while also driving increased adoption of sustainably sourced chemicals for commercial applications. Applying LanzaTech’s carbon capture and gas fermentation process to end-of-life tyres yields sustainably produced chemicals such as ethanol that can be converted to materials such as PET for packaging, polyester yarn and surfactants used in consumer home goods like laundry detergent.

In addition, Bridgestone and LanzaTech will jointly explore opportunities to co-develop proprietary microbe technology to produce more efficient pathways to produce butadiene, a key ingredient in new tyre production, realising true circularity for end-of-life tyres.

Illinois-based LanzaTech transforms waste carbon into materials such as sustainable fuels, fabrics, packaging, and other products. Using a variety of waste feedstocks, LanzaTech’s technology platform highlights a future where consumers are not dependent on virgin fossil feedstocks for everything in their daily lives.

Bridgestone said it is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality and make tyres from 100 per cent renewable materials by 2050. The company is actively researching a range of solutions to support the recycling of materials from ELTs and promote the replacement of non-renewable materials such as oil, silica and virgin carbon black in new tyres.