DARPA GXV-T demos showcase radical vehicle technologies

DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program (earlier post) aims to improve mobility, survivability, safety, and effectiveness of future combat vehicles without piling on armor. Several Phase 2 contract awardees recently demonstrated advances on a variety of potentially groundbreaking technologies to meet the program’s goals. We’re looking at how to enhance... Read more →


At the Movin’On 2018 mobility summit, Michelin announced its ambition that by 2048, all of its tires will be manufactured using 80% sustainable materials (recycled and renewable materials) and that 100% of all tires will be recycled. Today, the world-wide recovery rate for tires is 70%; of that 70%, some... Read more →


Goodyear offered a preview during the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show of its EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology, a prototype tire for the growing electric vehicle market that will be on the road by 2019 in Europe. Goodyear testing reveals that traditional tires can wear out up to 30%... Read more →


ORNL-led team uses carbon material derived from tire waste to convert used cooking oil to biofuel

Using a novel, reusable carbon material derived from old rubber tires, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)-led research team has developed a simple method to convert used cooking oil into biofuel. The team’s approach combines modified, recovered carbon with sulfuric acids, which is then mixed with free fatty acids in... Read more →


Harvard researchers develop tough, self-healing rubber

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new type of rubber that is as tough as natural rubber but can also self-heal. The research is published in Advanced Materials. Self-healing materials aren’t new—researchers at SEAS have developed self-healing hydrogels, which... Read more →


U Minn seeking to license new process to produce isoprene from biomass at high yield; green tires

Researchers from the University of Minnesota, with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, have developed a new high-yield process—a hybrid of fermentation followed by thermochemical catalysis—to produce renewable isoprene from biomass. In the process, fermentation of sugars produces itaconic acid, which undergoes catalytic hydrogenation to produce 3-methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF). The... Read more →


UBC engineers use fiber from recycled tires to develop more resilient concrete

University of British Columbia (UBC) engineers have used polymeric scrap tire fibers (STF) to develop a more resilient type of concrete that could be used for concrete structures such as buildings, roads, dams and bridges, while reducing landfill waste. The researchers experimented with different proportions of STF and other materials... Read more →


At Movin’On 2017, Michelin presented its new Vision concept tire. The concept tire—which combines the functions of wheel and tire—is airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable and organic, is both a wheel and a tire. Michelin Group Executive Vice President of Research and Development Terry Gettys said that the VISION concept is... Read more →


Goodyear shows two concept tires targeting autonomous and shared vehicles; smart tires

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company showcased several new and emerging technologies in its latest concept tires at the Geneva International Motor Show. In the evolving mobility ecosystem, defined by the transition to driverless vehicles and shared mobility in urban centers, Goodyear aims to revolutionize the interaction between tires, vehicles... Read more →


Sumitomo using Amyris/Kuraray liquid farnesene rubber in Dunlop tires

Amyris, Inc. announced that Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has adopted Amyris’ liquid farnesene rubber (LFR) as a performance-enhancing additive for use in the production of its latest Dunlop-branded Winter Maxx 02 tires. LFR is a liquid rubber developed by Kuraray Co. using Amyris’s biologically derived Biofene-branded β-farnesene. (Earlier post.) The... Read more →


ASTM International launches group to create standards for recovered carbon black (rCB)

The ASTM International Board of Directors approved the launch of a new technical committee dedicated to developing standards for the growing field of recovered carbon black (rCB). The Committee on Recovered Carbon Black (rCB) (D36) will focus on creating and updating standards in areas such as: the decomposition of scrap... Read more →


Cooper Tire and BRDI consortium partners report significant progress on grant to develop guayule polymer for tires

At its recent annual meeting in Albany, Calif., the public-private consortium behind the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) grant, “Securing the Future of Natural Rubber—an American Tire and Bioenergy Platform from Guayule,” reported several key advancements emerging from the group’s work over the past year. Cooper Tire & Rubber... Read more →


New approach for synthetic rubber for degradable tires: converting cyclopentene to polypentenamers

A team from the Texas A&M University campus in Qatar (TAMU-Qatar) and Caltech has developed a new way to make synthetic rubber; once this material is discarded, it can be easily degraded back to its chemical building blocks and reused in new tires and other products. The researchers will present... Read more →


Continental has developed and tested car tires and engine mounts with rubber made from dandelion roots. In 2014, Continental brought onto the road the first sample of a premium winter tire featuring tread made from dandelion rubber. (Earlier post.) At the end of 2015, ContiTech tested the new renewable resource,... Read more →


by Derek Petersen It’s fascinating how individuals and companies continue to find creative ways to recycle and reuse. Companies will attract negative attention for not doing their part to help protect the environment—potentially risking a loss in profits due to a shrinking consumer base because of their environmental decisions. One... Read more →


Bridgestone successfully builds passenger car tires with 100% guayule-derived rubber

Bridgestone Corporation has successfully built passenger tires with 100 percent of its natural rubber-containing components derived from guayule, a desert shrub that grows in arid regions. Natural rubber is contained in the plant’s barks and roots. (Earlier post.) Built at the Bridgestone Technical Center in Japan, the tires were constructed... Read more →


Oak Ridge/Drexel team produces supercapacitor electrodes from scrap tires

By employing proprietary pretreatment and processing, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Drexel University have produced flexible polymer carbon composite films from scrap tires for use as electrodes for supercapacitors. The first synthesized highly porous carbon (1625 m2 g−1) using waste tires as the precursor. The narrow pore-size distribution and high... Read more →


Tire-integrated triboelectric generator harvests electricity from rolling tire friction; est. up to +10% fuel econ

A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and a collaborator from China have developed a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that harvests energy from a car’s rolling tire friction. An innovative method of reusing energy, the nanogenerator ultimately could provide automobile manufacturers a new way to squeeze greater efficiency out of their... Read more →


Cooper Tire completes work on $1.5M DOE project to develop fuel efficient tires, exceeding targets

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company completed work under a $1.5-million government grant to develop advanced tire technology aimed at increasing vehicle fuel efficiency. The grant, awarded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, called for Cooper to develop technology for light vehicle tires... Read more →


Cooper Tire begins testing tires made with guayule component; consortium progress on genomics, agronomics

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has completed tire builds using rubber derived from guayule plants and new guayule related materials. The tires are being evaluated by Cooper’s technical team using wheel, road and track tests, which are ongoing, but to date suggest tire performance that is at least equal to... Read more →


ORNL team tailors the structure of carbon black from waste tires to create higher performance carbon anode material for Li-ion batteries

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have tailored the microstructural characteristics of carbon black recovered from discarded tires to produce a higher performance, low-cost carbon anode material for Li-ion batteries. Electrochemical studies reported in their paper published in the journal RSC Advances showed that the recovered-carbon-based anode had a... Read more →


DOE to award more than $55M to 31 projects for plug-in and efficient vehicle technologies; Delphi receives $10M to further GDCI

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding more than $55 million to 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs under a program-wide funding opportunity announced in January. (DE-FOA-0000991, earlier post.) These new projects are aimed at meeting... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $49.4 million to projects to to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies. The new program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0000991) (earlier post), was announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Washington Auto Show. The funding opportunity will contains a total of... Read more →


DOE to issue FY14 Vehicle Technologies program-wide funding opportunity announcement

The Department Of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of its Vehicle Technology Office (VTO), a program-wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000991) for fiscal year 2014 on or about January 2014. The advance notice (DE-FOA-0001053) is to alert interested parties of the... Read more →


Second-generation Air Free Concept from Bridgestone. Click to enlarge. Bridgestone Corporation unveiled its second-generation “Air Free Concept (Non-Pneumatic) Tire” at the Tokyo Motor Showin November. (Earlier post.) The new design features improved load-bearing capabilities, environmental design and driving performance. The latest improvements bring Bridgestone one step closer to a viable,... Read more →


Overview of BioButterfly process steps. Click to enlarge. Axens, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and Michelin have launched a plant chemistry research partnership that aims to develop and bring to market a process for producing bio-sourced butadiene, or bio-butadiene. Butadiene is a chemical intermediate derived from fossil resources that is used... Read more →


Fraunhofer and Continental building pilot system to extract Russian dandelion rubber for tires

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, in collaboration with Continental, are building a pilot system to extract rubber from the Russian dandelion for making tires. Working jointly with industry and science, the IME scientists have optimized the cultivation and production engineering for dandelion rubber... Read more →


Eni’s Versalis to partner with Genomatica and Novamont for bio-based butadiene; rubber for tires

Versalis, Eni’s chemicals subsidiary leader in the production of elastomers, together with Genomatica, a leading developer of process technology for renewable chemicals, and Novamont, a leader in biodegradable plastics and pioneer in third-generation integrated biorefineries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a strategic partnership to enable production of... Read more →


USDA awards Cooper Tire & Rubber and partners $6.9M for research on guayule as source for tire rubber and biofuel

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Cooper Tire & Rubber and its consortium partners a 4-year, $6.9-million grant to support research efforts to develop enhanced manufacturing processes, testing and utilizing of guayule natural rubber as a strategic source of raw material in tires, and evaluating the remaining biomass... Read more →


Study finds automobile tires are a potential source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes to the environment

A new study by researchers from Stockholm University concludes that automobile tires may be a potential previously unknown source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes—a type of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)—to the environment. Their findings are published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Automobile tire rubber in general... Read more →


Volvo Trucks/Michelin study finds correct tires, pressure and wheel alignment can reduce truck fuel consumption up to 14.5%

A recent study by truck maker Volvo and tire manufacturer Michelin found that having the correct tires, tire pressure and wheel alignment can reduce truck fuel consumption by up to 14.5%. The two-week long, 1,000-km (621-mile) test conducted at Hällered, Volvo’s test circuit in Sweden, featured two Volvo FH 4x2... Read more →


The DeltaWing. Click to enlarge. Michelin will be the first major technical partner to support the Project 56 DeltaWing prototype car in the 2012 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Michelin has developed a tire solution that pushes the performance envelope and matches the innovative DeltaWing strategy to... Read more →


Schematic diagram of the two-stage pyrolysis-gasification experimental system. Credit: ACS, Elbaba et al.Click to enlarge. A team at the University of Leeds (UK) is investigating hydrogen production from waste tires using a two-stage pyrolysis-gasification reactor and Ni-Mg-Al (1:1:1) catalyst. A paper describing their work was published online 10 June in... Read more →


Genencor and Goodyear Partnering on Process to Develop BioIsoprene from Sugars; To be Used in Manufacture of Tires

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, have established a research collaboration to develop an integrated fermentation, recovery and purification system for producing BioIsoprene from renewable raw materials for use in tires. Genencor intends to commercialize the technology within the next five years. Synthetic... Read more →


European Parliament Backs Regulations for Quieter, More Energy-Efficient Tires

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection has voted to support proposed amended legislation that would make tires quieter and more energy efficient. The legislation, originally proposed by the European Commission in May, will set harmonized minimum noise and rolling resistance standards for tires. Tires not... Read more →


Michelin Invests $6.8M In R&D To Further Reduce Tire-Related Energy Consumption

Michelin is investing $6.8 million in a research and development project focused on further improving vehicle fuel economy by reducing tire rolling resistance. These funds will support the company’s research efforts in South Carolina and include a $1.9 million research contract with Clemson University and its International Center for Automotive... Read more →


Full Compliance with US Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Regulation Coming Into Effect

With the TPMS, one of these symbols will light up on the dashboard when any tire is 25% under-inflated. September 1 marks the start of required 100% compliance with the US federal mandate for all new vehicles of 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) or less gross vehicle weight to have a... Read more →


EarthFirst and Orion Enter Joint Venture for Scrap Tire Recycling Facility

Product yields from the CAVD process. Click to enlarge. EarthFirst Technologies and Orion Industrial Services Corporation are working together on the final design, construction and commercial roll-out of a scrap tire recycling facility, known as the Catalytic Activated Vacuum Distillation Reactor (CAVD). CAVD is a low-temperature pyrolysis process, in which... Read more →


Study: Under-inflated Tires in the EU Waste 8.1 Billion Liters of Fuel Each Year

An estimated 93.5% of motorists in the EU are driving on under-inflated tires and causing an additional 18.4 million tons of carbon dioxide to be released into the environment, according to a recent analysis by Bridgestone Europe. That works out to an extra 6.9 g CO2/km for every car on... Read more →


Yokohama Tire Technology Cuts Petroleum Use in Tire by 80%

Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (YRC)—the seventh-largest tire manufacturer in the world—has developed a process that combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound it calls Super Nanopower Rubber (SNR). The major component of citrus oil is d-limonene. The process reduces the use of petroleum products in tires... Read more →


Parker Hannifin Joins Get Nitrogen Institute to Promote N2 Tire Inflation

Parker Hannifin Corporation has joined the Get Nitrogen Institute, a non-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote the use of nitrogen rather than air in filling tires. (Costco, the first retailer to offer nitrogen in its tire centers throughout North America, is a sponsor of the Institute.) The use of... Read more →


ORNL Launches Nationwide Heavy-Duty Truck Efficiency Test; Single Wide Tires a Prime Focus

The performance of single wide tires is one of the main areas of focus of the test. Shown here are Michelin X-One tires. Source: Michelin. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a nationwide test of heavy-duty trucks that will include special monitoring equipment on six instrumented tractors and nine... Read more →


Ford Bumps Up the Fuel Efficiency of the 2007 Focus by 7%

Changes to the engine management software along with new low-rolling resistance tires have netted a 3-mpg increase in highway mileage for the 2007 Ford Focus 2.0-liter with a manual transmission. The Focus now will deliver 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (31 mpg combined). The... Read more →


Goodyear Launches Fuel-Efficient Truck Tire Lines

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has introduced a new fuel-efficient commercial tire technology—Fuel Max—and three new tires for long-haul trucks that could deliver up to a 4% improvement in fuel economy, according to the company. Actual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test results of the tires driven at highway... Read more →


ORNL: Single Wide-Base Truck Tires Improve Fuel Economy

Replacing the standard two thinner tires per wheel with a single wide-base tire improves the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty tractor-trailer trucks and allows them to be made to run with more stability, according to studies by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Interstate tests by ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center show... Read more →


National Academies Report on Tires and Fuel Economy

Energy flow for a modern mid-size sedan. Rolling resistance consumes about one-third of the mechanical energy output from the engine to the wheels. Two divisions of the National Academies—the Transportation Research Board and the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems—have issued a special report examining the contribution of tires to... Read more →


Bridgestone to Build $100M Synthetic Rubber Plant in China

Bridgestone Corp. will invest about $100 million to build a synthetic rubber plant in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China to meet what it anticipates will be the surge in tire demand in Asia. The new plant, due to become operational in 2008, will produce 50,000 tons per year of styrene-butadiene rubber... Read more →


Sumitomo Rubber to Introduce Lower-Petroleum Tires

Nikkei. Sumitomo Rubber Industries has developed and will launch next year a specialty tire made with a smaller-than-usual proportion of synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum. Approximately 55% of the material in a conventional tire, including synthetic rubber and other polymers, is petroleum-derived. The new Sumitomo tire drops this... Read more →