Michelin Tyres to fund development of renewable rubber

29th September 2011

Michelin Tyres has announced a new partnership with renewable isoprene manufacturer Amyris, which will reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

The plans will see Michelin contribute funding to Amyris's ecologically friendly No Compromise renewable isoprene tyres with a view to introducing the product onto the market by 2015.

These tyres are made by converting plant-based sugars into isoprene, the key component in car tyres and Amyris's new synthetic rubber.

Amyris's agreement with Michelin reflects a move away from fossil fuel-based tyre making methods, which see isoprene created using thermal cracking techniques.

The move comes as Michelin and the wider petrochemical industry comes to terms with the increasing difficulties facing traditional isoprene production.

"Growing demand for isoprene and a desire to increase the sourcing of sustainable raw materials create a great opportunity for Amyris to bring to market renewable solutions," said Amyris chief executive John Melo.

As part of the agreement, Michelin has also committed to buying a pre-arranged volume of the new isoprene tyres over the next ten years.

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Posted by Danielle Barge