DUESSELDORF, Germany—The world wants more sustainable tires, made with more sustainable materials. Asahi Kasei Corp. intends to meet this challenge, aiming to be the first company worldwide to produce and market SSBR made with butadiene sourced from plastic waste.
The Duesseldorf-based supplier took a big step toward this end, signing an agreement Nov. 23 with Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd. to source butadiene made from plastic waste. Asahi Kasei will use the material to produce plastic-waste-derived SSBR at its plant in Singapore by March 2022.
Asahi Kasei said in a news release Shell will produce sustainable butadiene by mass balance method in two ways at Bukom, Singapore.
"The first is a method of converting plastic waste into pyrolysis oil and feeding it to the naphtha cracker, and the other is using bio-feedstock as a naphtha cracker feed," Asahi Kasei said.
SSBR, a synthetic rubber with a range of applications, primarily is used in tires, offering characteristics for improved performance, safety and fuel efficiency. The use of sustainable SSBR in tires—particularly those fitted to electric vehicles—can result in reduced CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle of the tires.
"Asahi Kasei continues to focus on technological developments for high-performance SSBR products that enable further improvements to fuel efficiency and wear resistance, in order to meet requirements for increased driving range and mass production of electric vehicles," the company said in the new release. "Additionally, Asahi Kasei has sought to transition to sustainable feedstock in order to reduce CO2 emissions throughout its supply chain."