AKRON — Goodyear is partnering with carbon black producer Monolith Inc. to create a tread formula that will be used in Goodyear's ultra-high performance, all-season ElectricDrive GT tire.
The tire will be made in size 235/40R19, which fits vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3. It only will be available on goodyear.com.
Both companies said the tire, with improved traction, is the first to be made with this specific carbon black — produced by methane pyrolysis. It is a step toward a journey of zero emissions carbon black used in tire manufacturing, they said.
Chris Helsel, senior vice president global operations and chief technology officer, said the Akron-based tire maker is always working with suppliers to understand and discover innovations.
"The use of carbon black produced by methane pyrolysis is an example of how we are collaborating with our suppliers, like Monolith, to utilize sustainable materials in our consumer products, without compromising on performance and safety," Helsel said.
A Goodyear spokesperson said the tire will be manufactured "within our North American manufacturing footprint."
Goodyear said a typical consumer tire's composition is 20% carbon black by weight. Conventional carbon black is produced by burning decant oil or coal tar, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Lincoln, Neb.-based Monolith uses a proprietary methane pyrolysis process that can use clean electricity to convert natural gas into carbon black and hydrogen. The process is designed to create virtually zero emissions in manufacturing and potentially reduce tire life cycle emissions.
Monolith said "methane pyrolysis allows for the splitting of the methane molecule into the constituent elements —carbon and hydrogen." The carbon black is produced at Monolith's Olive Creek 1 facility in Hallam, Neb., which is designed to produce 14,000 metric tons of carbon black per year.
Rob Hanson, co-founder and CEO of Monolith, said Goodyear has been "at the forefront" of its drive toward sustainability.
"We're thrilled for the tire made with Monolith carbon black to launch and excited for the continued product research and development in this industry-leading partnership," he said.
Goodyear's ElectricDrive GT features Goodyear's SoundComfort Technology, which the tire maker said acts as a built-in sound barrier, reducing road noise.
Goodyear and Monolith began its collaboration in December 2021 for the development and potential use of carbon black produced from methane and/or biomethane for its tires.
Goodyear said it defines a sustainable material "as a bio-based/renewable, recycled material or one that may be produced using or contributing to other sustainable practices for resource conservation and/or emissions reductions including mass-balance materials."
Goodyear unveiled a 90% sustainable-material demo tire that included Monolith carbon black at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
The spokesperson said Goodyear plans to explore expanding the use of Monolith carbon black produced via methane pyrolysis across additional product lines in the coming years.
Founded in 2012, Monolith recently had a $300 million funding round and conditional approval of a $1 billion loan from the Department of Energy to expand its production facilities in Nebraska. The company also has offices and R&D facilities in Lincoln;, San Carlos, Calif.; Denver; and Kansas City, Kan.