SINGAPORE (May 25, 2012)—Bridgestone Corp. is committing itself to develop tires made with 100-percent sustainable raw materials by 2050, Chairman Shoshi Arakawa told those attending the World Rubber Summit in Singapore this week.
Among the initiatives Bridgestone is pursuing to achieve its goal is research into natural rubber alternatives Guayule and Russian dandelion, processes to develop synthetic rubber, carbon black and rubber compounding agents from biomass materials and practical application of new cellulose fibers to produce yarns that would substitute for petroleum-derived polyester and nylon.
Bridgestone has not to date disclosed what it intends to invest in this research.
The sustainability pledge is part of Bridgestone's long-term environmental goals, which also include contributing to the globally agreed target for CO2 emissions reduction
Bridgestone recently disclosed plans to fund research into the viability of guayule and the Russian dandelion as NR alternatives.
Among other materials, Bridgestone claims it has successfully created butadiene—used in SBR synthetic rubber—produced from bioethanol and has developed carbon black from intermediate materials created from biomass materials, but it has not disclosed details.
In addition to these initiatives, Bridgestone said it is pursuing the development of technologies that will reduce CO2 emissions through improved fuel efficiency and technologies that can be applied throughout the value chain, from raw materials through finished products.
Bridgestone said it would report on the progress of these initiatives "as appropriate."
The World Rubber Summit, held May 22-24, is sponsored by the International Rubber Study Group.