Kumho Tire and synthetic rubber manufacturer Synthos have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the joint development of sustainable tyre raw materials. Under the MOU, the two companies will conduct a joint research and development project for Neodymium-Butadiene rubber using Bio-Butadiene and expand the use of environmentally friendly synthetic rubber in tyre manufacturing.
WMG at the University of Warwick in Coventry and Canada’s University of Victoria are the joint recipients of the inaugural Synthos Rubber Circularity Award, an international competition launched earlier this year to encourage cutting-edge ideas and solutions that significantly improve the environmental performance of synthetic rubber-based tyre compounds. Announcing the winners, Synthos states that the researchers impressed with their “breakthrough technology research concept” but did not elaborate on their work.
Stephan van Santbrink will become chief executive officer of Arlanxeo on 1 October following Donald D. Chen’s retirement from this position. Chen will remain involved with the company in a senior advisory capacity until 1 February 2024 to ensure a smooth transition of leadership and the continuation of important strategic projects.
Tyres may be a key beneficiary of research conducted by a team of chemists from MIT and Duke University in the USA who claim to have discovered a “counterintuitive way to make polymers stronger.” The talk is not only of increasing tyre lifespan, but also of reducing microplastic emissions.
Following the final investment decision by Aramco and TotalEnergies to build a joint venture petrochemical facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, Arlanxeo announced it would set up a 140 ktpa plant nearby to produce Ultra High cis Polybutadiene (NdBR) for tyre treads as well as Lithium Butadiene Rubber (LiBR) for use in plastics. Construction is scheduled to start next year and Arlanxeo expects commercial operations to commence in 2027.
To aid its development of eco-friendly tyres, Hankook Tire & Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with petrochemical company Kumho Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (KKPC). Amongst other things, the MoU ensures Hankook Tire is first in line to receive KKPC’s Eco Solution-polymerised Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (Eco-SSBR) at “a fair price” once commercial its production commences in 2026.
The research institute behind Sailun Group’s EcoPoint3 compounding technology has established strategic partnerships with two companies to explore synthetic rubber applications for use in tyre production. EVE Rubber Institute has signed agreements with Ecombine Advanced Materials and Arlanxeo High Performance Elastomer (Changzhou), with the three parties planning to draw upon their respective technological and marketing strengths to deliver innovations in liquid-phase mixing.
Synthos is closing its synthetic rubber Emulsion-SBR (ESBR) production line in the Czech Republic due to “the unsustainable market environment for ESBR due to unpredictable costs in Europe”. Synthos will cease ESBR production at its Kralupy, Czech Republic operation in the second quarter of this year.
Effective November 2022, Asahi Kasei began selling Tufdene S-SBR (solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber) and Asadene BR (butadiene rubber) made using the mass-balance method at Asahi Kasei Synthetic Rubber Singapore Pte. Ltd. and the synthetic rubber plant of Asahi Kasei’s Kawasaki Works. The sale will be based on the ISCC PLUS certification for S-SBR and BR acquired by Asahi Kasei’s Synthetic Rubber Division in October 2022.
In light of strongly rising energy prices in Europe, chemical firm and synthetic rubber manufacturer Synthos has announced that it can no longer produce Emulsion-SBR (ESBR) at full capacity. It will thus reduce ESBR output by approximately 30%, equivalent to around 100,000 MTPA, effective immediately.
As of April 2022, Koshiro Kudo will assume the role of president of Asahi Kasei, with current president Hideki Kobori becoming the company’s chairman. Asahi Kasei states that with 40 years of corporate experience, the new president will “lead the company into a new century of its history” – the Japanese firm celebrates its 100th anniversary in May.
In response to local government environmental protection measures in the Yangtze River region and with the aim of establishing “one of the most modern NBR plants in the world,” Arlanxeo and TSRC are relocating their joint venture synthetic rubber facility. The move to a new location will be accompanied by an increase in NBR capacity from 30,000 to 40,000 tons per annum, growth that will support local demands and reinforce global supply.
As of 1 December, Bridgestone Corporation has completed selling all shares in its Bridgestone (Huizhou) Synthetic Rubber Co., Ltd. subsidiary. The new owner of the business, which manufactures synthetic rubber for passenger car tyres, is Taiwan’s LCY Chemical Corporation. Bridgestone announced the planned sale on 15 June 2021.
Tyre makers have committed themselves to ambitious sustainability goals, and can only achieve these through the use of sustainable raw materials. We’re currently seeing a spate of new plans and projects in this sector, the latest being an agreement that Japan’s Asahi Kasei Corporation concluded with Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd. yesterday for the supply of butadiene derived from plastic waste and biomass.
Taif Group, the world’s largest producer of isoprene and the Russian Federation’s largest rubber producer, has entered into an agreement with Russian integrated petrochemical company Sibur that finalises the creation of a combined entity that will leverage the facilities of Sibur Holding and create the largest petrochemical company in Russia and one of the biggest in the world.