The program will aim to recover isoprene, a key raw material for production of synthetic rubber, through decomposing used tires at low temperatures and depolymerizing them using a "specialized catalyst" technology.
Bridgestone will lead the project, offering its rubber R&D expertise and tire and rubber knowledge for the demonstration plants.
AIST, Tohoku University, and Eneos will be responsible for the development of chemical-recycling technologies of used tires and the related evaluation technologies. JGC will be tasked with designing pilot plants.
Separately, Bridgestone agreed with to work with Eneos to develop chemical recycling technologies that enable "precise pyrolysis of used tires."
Through the project, Bridgestone and Eneos — which is in the process of acquiring JSR Corp.'s synthetic rubber business — aim to develop technologies that achieve high-yield production of chemical products, such as butadiene and naphta.
The program will combine Bridgestone's rubber and polymer material design capabilities with the crude-oil refining technologies and foundational basic chemical product manufacturing technologies from Eneos.
Large-scale demonstration units will be advanced towards 2030 with the goal of achieving "mass production and swift commercialization," Bridgestone said.
Bridgestone "places sustainability at the core of management and business and is practicing co-creation with a variety of partners to accomplish its vision," Bridgestone CEO Shuichi Ishibashi said.
The project with Eneos, he added, represents "a significant step forward" in the group's efforts to increase resource circulation and promote carbon neutrality in the tire and rubber industry.