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AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 26, 2023 ~ Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world's largest tire manufacturers, and Visolis, a pioneering sustainable technology company, have announced a collaboration project to produce isoprene through the upcycling of biobased materials. This collaboration is supported by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded to Visolis earlier this year.

Isoprene is an important precursor for some types of synthetic rubber and is typically generated as a by-product from refining crude oil. It is polymerized into long chains using a catalyst to produce polyisoprene, which is used as a raw material in manufacturing tires and other items.

The Visolis and Goodyear collaboration will leverage Visolis' technology to produce high-quality isoprene from lignocellulosic feedstocks, which are non-edible biomass and agricultural materials. Visolis conducted an initial carbon footprint analysis to explore the reduction potential of its process and will continue to evaluate reductions further as part of their collaboration project with Goodyear.

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Dr. Deepak Dugar, CEO of Visolis said: "We are excited to collaborate with Goodyear and leverage our revolutionary technology to transform waste materials into valuable monomers. This partnership is a testament to our shared commitment to sustainable practices and the development of advanced materials that drive positive change."

Chris Helsel, senior vice president, Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer at Goodyear added: "We believe that innovation and collaboration is key to making progress along our sustainability journey and helping us achieve our goals, including net-zero value chain emissions by 2050. By working with companies like Visolis, we are able to continue to learn, innovate and help build a better future."

Goodyear actively seeks sustainable material options that deliver product performance while meeting the company's high standards of quality and safety. To advance the company's sustainable material use, Goodyear's technology teams work on investigating new alternative raw materials and incorporating innovative solutions. An example of this was the 90% sustainable-material demonstration tire unveiled earlier this year by Goodyear; they plan on selling a tire with up to 70% sustainable materials this year.
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