MONTREAL, QUE. During its Movin’On 2018 summit on sustainable mobility, Michelin announced its plan to manufacture tires using 80% sustainable materials. Michelin also noted that by 2048, 100% of all its tires will be recycled.
During a press conference here at the 2018 summit, Cyrille Roget, Michelin’s director of technical and scientific communications, explained that today the world-wide recovery rate for tires is 70%, while the recycling rate is 50%.
Michelin tires are currently made using 28% sustainable materials (26% bio-sourced materials like natural rubber, sunflower oil, limonene, etc., and 2% recycled materials such as steel or recycled powdered tires).
Michelin announced it is investing in recycling technologies to increase that content to 80% sustainable materials. The company projects that by 2048 its tires will be 100% recycled for the vehicles of the future.
“The savings could be huge – 33 million barrels of oil every year would be saved by using recycled or renewable material,” Roget said.
“This is something that involves a lot of partners Michelin will need to achieve those ambitions,” he added. “This is not something Michelin can achieve alone.”
To help attain its goal, Michelin recently acquired Lehigh Technologies, a specialist in high-technology micro powders derived from recycled tires.
Lehigh, which is part of the High Technology Materials Business Unit of Michelin, produces a raw material called Micronized Rubber Powders (MRP). MRP replaces oil- and rubber-based feedstocks in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications, including high-performance tires, plastics, consumer goods, coatings, sealants, construction materials and asphalt.
This announcement comes a year after Michelin revealed its Vision concept tire during its inaugural Movin’On summit. Features of the Vision concept tire include:
- An airless tire made of bio-sourced and recycled products;
- A connected eco-system within the tire, providing services and advice to the driver;
- A bio-degradable tread that can be renewed with a 3D printer.