The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Visolis, a sustainable technology company, will collaborate to produce isoprene through the upcycling of biobased materials. This collaboration is supported by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded to Visolis earlier this year.
Isoprene, an important precursor for some types of synthetic rubber, is a hydrocarbon that is typically generated as a by-product from refining crude oil.
Isoprene units are polymerized into long chains using a catalyst to produce polyisoprene, which is used as a raw material in manufacturing tires and other items.
The Visolis and Goodyear collaboration will leverage Visolis' technology to produce high-quality isoprene from lignocellulosic feedstocks. Visolis conducted an initial carbon footprint analysis to explore the reduction potential of its process and will continue to evaluate reductions further as part of their collaboration project with Goodyear.
Visolis' technology combines synthetic biology and traditional chemical catalysis to produce a portfolio of bio-based chemicals.
Goodyear actively seeks sustainable material options that deliver product performance while meeting the company's high standards of quality and safety. Goodyear, working with its supply base, plans to sell a tire with up to 70% sustainable materials thisyear.