WATERLOO, Ontario — Continental A.G. is using a recycled rubber material produced by Tyromer Inc. using a devulcanization process in the production of new tires, according to the Waterloo-based company.
In business since 2009, Waterloo-based Tyromer has patented a rubber devulcanization process that it licenses to third parties, which then sell the material to end customers.
In the case with Continental, however, Tyromer is supplying the tire maker directly from demonstration facilities it operates in Arnhem, Netherlands, and Waterloo to factories in Europe and Asia.
The companies did not elaborate on which tire line or lines are being built with the recycled material, but products made with materials are expected to be sold commercially in 2023.
Separately, Continental unveiled a concept passenger tire, dubbed GreenConcept, in late 2021 that it claimed was both measurably lighter and more sustainable than comparable current-generation tires.
Conti said at that time up to half of the GreenConcept's material content by weight is made of "traceable, renewable and recycled materials," including 35% renewable raw materials such as dandelion-latex-based natural rubber, silicate from the ashes of rice husks and various vegetable oils and resins.
Tyromer was formed using an open innovation business model to allow it to collaborate with tire industry leaders, and the company said it has been working with Continental for several years to develop technology to allow rubber derived from end-of-life tires to be reused in the production of new tires.
"We could never have done it alone," Tyromer CEO Sam Visaisouk said. "Our collaboration with Continental Tires has taught us lessons in quality, reliability and consistency, among many others. We are grateful for the support and the guidance to tailor the specifications of our recycled rubber material according to Continental's specific needs."
Tyromer said TDP is made through a carbon dioxide-assisted thermo-mechanical continuous extrusion process. Crumb rubber, free of metal and other contamination in the size range of ~20 mesh is used as feedstock.
Tyromer claims TDP is superior to other recycled rubber materials because the process uses no devulcanization chemicals or chemical solvents. When running continuously the conversion is essentially 100% with no waste by-product.