The world's first concept demonstration tires made with BioIsoprene technology, a breakthrough alternative which aims to replace a petrochemically produced ingredient in the manufacture of synthetic rubber with renewable biomass, made their debut in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. One tire will make appearances at several special events during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15), while the other tire will be on display at a lounge in the common departure area at the Copenhagen International Airport throughout December 21.
The tires made with BioIsoprene are the result of a collaboration between Genencor, a world leader in industrial biotechnology and a pioneer in enzyme innovation and division of Danisco A/S, and Goodyear, one of the world's largest and well known tire companies.
Beyond tires, BioIsoprene offers a huge potential in all kinds of other applications where petroleum-based rubber products and adhesives. The market for isoprene could reach up to 11 billion pounds per year by 2012. Genencor plans to bring the technology to pilot stage within two years, followed by commercial production.
Philippe Lavielle, Executive VP of Business Development for Genencor declared: "We're building advanced biorefineries of the future through strategic collaborations, such as our work with Goodyear and our joint venture DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, as well as public-private partnerships. By joining forces with other industry leaders and leveraging our cutting edge biotech capabilities, we're able to accelerate development and deployment of breakthrough technologies like BioIsoprene."
The development by Goodyear of its first concept tire manufactured using a bio-based alternative to the petroleum-derived raw material isoprene is a good example of how traditional industry has taken notice of the consumer's pursuit for more environmentally friendly products and of the growing importance of corporate social responsibility, a part of which results from lessening one's impact on the environment.