AKRON — Goodyear has progressed with the use of rice husk ash silica in its tires as a bio-alternative to traditional sand-based silica, according to the firm's Corporate Responsibility Report.
The company started the production of rice-husk-based silica tires at its factory in Pulandian, China, in 2015, using silica, provided by Yihai Food and Oil Industry.
In its 2018 responsibility report, Goodyear noted that it had introduced RHA silica in several manufacturing plants globally and now is set to expand its efforts.
"We are working closely with our suppliers to explore further expanding the usage of RHA silica and have set a goal to double our use of it within the next two years," Goodyear said without providing further details.
According to Goodyear, the China Automotive Technology and Research Center conducted a detailed life cycle analysis to determine the climate impacts of RHA silica last year. The assessment found that in the time between planting and harvesting the rice, more CO2 is sequestered from the atmosphere than is generated during the RHA silica production process, Goodyear noted.
"In fact, for every kilogram of RHA silica used in our tires, a net 0.82 kg of CO2 is sequestered from the atmosphere," the company said.
Rice husk ash has been converted to silica for several years, but only recently has technology been developed to process it into tire-grade product.