MOSCOW (MRC) -- JGC Holdings Corporation announced the launch of a joint research and development (R&D) program with Bridgestone Corporation, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tohoku University, and ENEOS Corporation, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
This program is aimed at developing chemical recycling technologies that utilize used tires to achieve high-yield production of isoprene, a raw material for synthetic rubber. By combining the expertise and technologies of industry leading companies and academic institutions, JGC Holdings and its partners are working to develop recycling technologies that will contribute to the realization of a more sustainable society and to conduct demonstrations for the social implementation of these technologies by 2030.
Tire demand is expected to grow in the future in conjunction with rising automobile and transportation demand. Synthetic rubber is one of the primary materials used when producing tires and is generally manufactured using petroleum. Used tires are also utilized as fuel mainly through thermal recovery technologies in Japan. At the same time, it is projected that society will come to face issues related to resource depletion and climate change triggered by increased CO2 emissions in the future.
To ensure that it can continue to supply tires in more sustainable manner, JGC Holdings, Bridgestone, AIST, Tohoku University, and ENEOS has teamed up to kick off a co-creative program for developing chemical recycling technologies of used tire that combine the expertise and technologies of companies and academic institutions. In this manner, JGC Holdings and its partners are working to contribute to increased resource recycling and carbon neutrality across the value chains of the tire and rubber industry and the petroleum and petrochemical industry.
The R&D program will promote the social implementation of technologies for high-yield production of isoprene by decomposing used tires with a specialized catalyst. JGC Holdings will be tasked with designing pilot plants while AIST, Tohoku University, and ENEOS will be responsible for the development of chemical recycling technologies of used tires and the related evaluation technologies. As the project leader, Bridgestone will play a central role in the project, guiding demonstrations for social implementation by utilizing its rubber R&D resources and expertise in the tire and rubber industry.
This program on "recycling technologies to achieve high-yield production by decomposing at low temperatures and depolymerization of used tires (brought by Bridgestone)" is one of two R&D projects under the initiative called "developing chemical product manufacturing technologies utilizing used tires" promoted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan and adopted as part of "the Green Innovation Fund" of NEDO.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan decided to develop the Green Innovation Fund toward the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the sustainability goal of Japanese government. The plan aims to accelerate structural transformation in energy and industry sector and innovation through ambitious investment. The Green Innovation Fund continuously supports companies and other organizations, which address challenges to achieve the goal as part of their business from R&D to demonstrations to social implementation of the outcomes for the coming ten years.
Through this program, JGC Holdings, AIST, Tohoku University, ENEOS, and Bridgestone seek to help increase synthetic rubber recycling and achieve carbon neutrality in the tire and rubber and the petroleum and petrochemical industries and to contribute to the realization of a more sustainable society.
As per MRC, Bridgestone plans to sell its China-based synthetic rubber business, Bridgestone (Huizhou) Synthetic Rubber Co., Ltd. (BSRC), to LCY Chemical Corp. Bridgestone Corp. is selling its synthetic rubber production business in China to Taipei-based materials and chemicals supplier LCY Corp., in line with the group's mid-term (2021-2023) business plan to ‘rebuild earning power’.
As per MRC, American Bridgestone Firestone, a subsidiary of Japan's Bridgestone Corporation, halted production at its Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA on February 15 due to cold weather in the region. The company confirmed that the 134,000 tonnes BSK per year plant is out of service due to problems associated with extreme weather conditions in the US Gulf of Mexico. Although electricity was restored to the plant, cold weather and power outages in the area resulted in the cutoff of water and other circulation needed to keep the plant running.