Synthesis of Butadiene Rubber from Carbon Dioxide
25 May 2023
Hyogo, Japan - May 9, 2023 – Toyo Tire Corporation (Headquarters: Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture; President & CEO: Takashi Shimizu; hereinafter, “Toyo Tire”) announced today development of catalysts that converts carbon dioxide into butadiene in high yield in collaboration with the University of Toyama (Location: Toyama City; President: Shigeru Saito), successfully synthesizing butadiene rubber, a key raw materials for tires.
The composition ratios of raw materials used for automobile tires varies by category, and petroleum-derived synthetic rubbers including butadiene units (styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and butadiene rubber (BR)) account for approximately 30% of raw material overall. This being the case, the tire industry has been activating the research of synthesis of butadiene rubber derived from naturally alternative materials (resources) other than petroleum for practical application.
The University of Toyama is actively and innovatively working on realizing the society with reduction of carbon emission through the development of high-performance catalysts for recycling carbon dioxide (CO2)
In 2016, Toyo Tire began collaborating with Professor Noritatsu Tsubaki, Faculty of Engineering, the University of Toyama, to replace petroleum-derived materials with CO2 as carbon resources for the production of butadiene rubber, a major component material of tires.
(Circular economy established by technology that uses CO2 as carbon resources to make raw material for tires)
The success in showing the way to synthesize butadiene from CO2, one of the key causes of climate change that significantly impacts the global environment, should contribute significantly to the minimization of environmental load (amount of CO2 emissions) in the production process, compared with the conventional method of using petroleum-derived materials.
Furthermore, using CO2 as starting material for production of butadiene rubber leads to advantage in terms of automobile tires’ life cycle assessment (LCA) in future.
Sustainable Technology Center, on the University of Toyama is working on fundamental academic researches for the development of next-generation material conversion technologies and applied researches their social implementation to realize a sustainable society.
This new technology acts as part of these actions, and we could synthesize butadiene from CO2 at the highest level of yield in the world without using expensive precious metals.
Going forward, we will proceed with the development of a catalyst system for mass production for the target schedule of its practical use by the end of the 2020’s, and research for replacement of rubbers and fillers with sustainable materials to make a meaningful contribution to sustainability.
Toyo Tire is constantly exploring ways to establish a circular process of its products in society by using naturally-derived and other sustainable materials as possible for rubber, the primary raw material for automobile tires, and other component materials. At the same time, we provide prototype tires that preferentially use sustainable materials for vehicles participating in the Dakar Rally and other off-road races. We will do the same for endurance races, including the Nürburgring 24 Hours. By feeding knowledge gained under specific driving conditions back to mass-production technology, we will accelerate the development of high-performance and unique products only available from the Toyo Tires brand.
Toyo Tire has announced its target of increasing the ratio of sustainable materials to 40% by 2030. By promoting the application of this new technology, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas production in our efforts to contribute to the realization of a sustainable mobility society.
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