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Goodyear hits the road with soybean plan

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Goodyear Tyre and Rubber has revealed it aims to replace petroleum oil in its tyres by 2040.
The company said this announcement will help its supply chain associates to establish practices and make sound environmental decisions related to the growing, harvesting and processing of soybeans.
Maureen Thune, VP and chief procurement, said: “Goodyear’s use of soybean oil is growing, and we want our actions to make a difference in the lives of soybean farmers and others in the soybean supply chain.
“Our new policy will help guide us as we work with processors, farmers, and others to strengthen the sustainability of the global soybean supply chain.”
Bob Woloszynek, chief engineer of Goodyear’s global raw material development and approval division, said the equivalent of 12 ounces of soybean oil is used in some of the ranges of tyre the company sold. Since 2011, Goodyear has used soybean oil in its tread compounds.
“Soybean oils have two key attributes. One is improved compatibility with rubber, or the elastomers we use in our tyre product,” Woloszynek added.
“Since soybean oil has a significantly lower glass transition, we can break the traditional trade off of winter tires versus all-season tires.”
The innovation in tyres is due to a collaboration between Goodyear and the United Soybean Board, which provided technical funding for engineers to work with special grades of soybean oil.
The company spent years learning to properly use soybean oil to replace petroleum oil.