Ray Pantling, owner of Tyres Direct in Bletchley, explains how food products and plants are being used to make tyres greener and more effective…
Continental has started volume production of the EcoContact 6, a high-tech summer car tyre.
It will use green chilli compound and will deliver 20% higher mileage and 15% lower rolling resistance, precision handling, high grip and shorter braking distances.
So exactly what are green chillis doing in rubber?
Continental tyres use a vegetable oil made from a green chilli compound, which is the latest achievement in reduced rolling resistance and performance, while Yokohama Tyres add orange peel oil to theirs for a similar result.
Continental tyres, along with the giant Bridgestone tyre company, are still hedging their bets by investing in the future use of the dandelion plant to produce latex, but we are still a few years away from this being used.
So the next time you eat an orange, a chilli or see a dandelion weed, remember to check your tyres!
Billions of gallons of oil are used worldwide every year to manufacture tyres. Bioengineers are developing a plant based substitute that could replace some of that oil within five years.
But until then, it takes about seven gallons of oil to make a standard tyre today.