Recently, the French tire giant Michelin released a video demonstrating the search for the perfect formula for fully sustainable tires. This is a huge technological challenge facing the brand’s research and development division.
Recycle as quickly as possible
In 2018, Michelin officially unveiled its Vision concept. Airless, connected, rechargeable and 100% durable, this tire of the future is based in particular on biomimicry and 3D printing and could see the light of day around 2050. Today, only 30% of the components that Michelin incorporates into its tires are sustainable, namely from recycling or of natural origin. Let us also mention the fact that a tire includes about 200 ingredients. These include rubber (natural or synthetic), metal, textile, silica and carbon black, among others. In a video published on February 23, 2021 (see end of article), Michelin expresses its desire to find the ideal formula to design completely durable tires without neglecting comfort, quality and safety.
The French giant particularly wants recycle as quickly as possible certain components such as carbon black, polystyrene as well as the pyrolysis oil of end-of-life tires. To do this, Michelin signed an agreement with Enviro in April 2020, a Swedish company that has patented a technology capable of recycling the elements mentioned above as well as the steel from used tires.
30,000 tonnes of tires recycled every year!
“Michelin is very committed to ensuring that, in the future, all the components that go into the tire are durable. For this, the group relies on its advanced technological maturity in the field of materials, its own incubator for new technologies, but also partners with incredibly innovative technologies. Many projects are already underway, to produce organic butadiene sourced to replace butadiene from petroleum, but also to regenerate plastic (PET), to recycle polystyrene or to recover carbon black from used tires ”, Michelin said.
Enviro is carrying out a recycling plant project to fully recycle each end-of-life tire, for an amount equivalent to 30,000 tons each year. This premiere should see the light of day in 2023 near Antofagasta, in northern Chile. According to Michelin, the technologies in question will go beyond the world of tires. It will indeed be a question of supplying other sectors which will also have to benefit from raw materials. infinitely recyclable.