Working with many automotive engineers have really impressed me within the last few years as they strive to replace most fossil laden components with more sustainable products. Recently Bridgestone Corp. announced that they have developed a concept tire Bridgestone said in a statement, along with synthetic rubber, carbon back and chemical agents made from bio-sourced monomers. The company said the butadiene used to make the rubber for the tire was synthesized from bio-ethanol, the carbon black was made by burning vegetable fats and oils while curing agents and anti-degradents were also made from biomass. Bridgestone must now develop the the technologies for mass production. Although Bridgestone is targeting commercial sales in 2020 of some sustainable materials, they do not plan to totally commit to shifting their manufacturing processes to sustainable materials until 2050.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries LTD, announced that have a more immediate goal to reduce their tire petrochemical raw materials from 56% in their current model line down to 3% by 2013. Currently they are on schedule according to company, with planned sales of 20,000 units in June under the product name of Enasave.