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01 | 2010

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Cellulosics

Automotive Concept Tyres

Automotive Concept Tyres www.genencor.com/bioisoprene www.goodyear.com Made with BioIsoprene The world’s first concept demonstration tyres made with Bio- Isoprene technology, a breakthrough alternative to replace a petrochemically produced ingredient in the manufacture of synthetic rubber with renewable biomass, made their debut at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, last December. The tyres made with BioIsoprene are the result of a collaboration between Genencor, a division of Danisco, and Goodyear, one of the world’s largest and most innovative tyre companies. “We are literally rolling out an important milestone in our collaboration with Goodyear on a breakthrough biochemical,” says Tom Knutzen, CEO of Danisco. “BioIsoprene is an excellent example of Danisco’s leadership in industrial biotechnology through our Genencor division. As we deliver enzymes to existing markets, we are also investing in future bio-innovations with extraordinary potential to address the world’s most urgent business and environmental challenges.“ “Goodyear’s collaboration with Genencor to develop BioIsoprene, which will be ultimately converted by Goodyear to BioNatsyn polymers, is another example of open innovation,“ says Jesse Roeck, Director, Global Materials Science at Goodyear. “BioNatsyn polymers made from BioIsoprene are a renewable resource that offers promise as a ‘green‘ alternative to petroleumbased isoprene. It will ultimately give manufacturers, who use isoprene to produce synthetic rubber, the choice to use a raw material made with renewable feedstocks therefore reducing the dependency on oil.“ BioIsoprene is derived from renewable raw materials. Genecor is testing wide range of renewable feedstocks, including sugars from corn and sugar cane and a variety of biomass substrates: It represents a significant development within the biochemical and rubber industries. Aside from synthetic rubber for tyre production, traditional isoprene is used for the production of a variety of copolymers that are used in the elastomer-, adhesives- and performance polymer markets. Application examples range from surgical gloves to golf balls and thus, the potential for BioIsoprene product is substantial. According to experts the market for high purity isoprene was 0.75 million tonnes/year in 2007. Genencor plans to bring the technology to pilot stage within two years, followed by commercial production. Since 2001, Goodyear has already used the BioTRED Technology, which allows to partly replace the carbon black, diatomite and silica fillers by a starch based (MaterBi) reinforcement. BioTRED, is a special patented formula. The starch is here treated to obtain nano-droplets of a complexed starch. In a next step, these nano droplets are added to the rubber compound to be transformed into a biopolymeric filler. The so called Bio-Tyres require less energy in their production, the cultivation of corn absorbs CO 2 , and in addition the tyre offers a reduced rolling resistance leading to up to 5% saving in fuel consumption (bM 01/2007). MT Picture courtesy Goodyear 20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/10] Vol. 5

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