Clean Tech

Tyres that drive sustainability

V Rishi Kumar September 19 | Updated on September 20, 2021

Ensuring circularity from manufacture to end-of-life

Tyre major Bridgestone India is on a full-circle sustainability drive — its new range of tyres helps vehicles reduce carbon dioxide emissions and it has set up a recycling plant for its tyres to ensure circularity of its product. Its manufacturing facility, too, supplements its power consumption with renewable sources.

The inspiration comes from its founder Shojiro Ishibashi, who says, “I am convinced that a simple profit-seeking business will never thrive, but a business that contributes to its society and country will be forever profitable.”

Globally, the company aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. It estimates that about 90 per cent of tyre-related emissions depends on its usage.

Tyres with improved rolling efficiency help reduce fuel use. The company’s Ecopia range of tyres provide advanced low-rolling resistance and fuel-saving benefits without compromising on safety.

Parag Satpute, Managing Director, Bridgestone India, says the company aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. At its Pune and Indore plants, solar energy of 6.7 MW supplements conventional energy.

For the tyre curing process, it uses carbon-neutral biomass briquettes made from agriculture waste to fuel its boiler plants. The recently commissioned biomass boiler plant at Pune, built in collaboration with Thermax, can generate about 1.23 lakh tonnes of steam per annum, and cut 19,396 tonnes of carbon dioxide, says Satpute.

This saves about ₹69 lakh in conventional energy usage in 2021, which is roughly what 11,326 urban households consume annually, he adds.

During tyre curing, heat from the steam stimulates chemical reaction between rubber compounds and other materials to give tyres their final shape.

Bridgestone is piloting a few projects to put its end-of-life tyres to good use.

The steel extracted can be used by steel plants; and the crumb rubber modifier can be added to bitumen to increase the life of roads, besides being used as construction material, for landscaping mulch, floor mats and crafts.

Published on September 19, 2021

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