Asahi Kasei has introduced a Solution-polymerized Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) for tire production. This is produced with plastic waste and biomass-based butadiene.
Asahi Kasei will produce synthetic rubber from sustainable butadiene in the future. Production and marketing of solution-polymerized styrene-butadiene rubber with sustainable butadiene is scheduled to begin at the Singapore plant in March 2022. The S-SBR used in tires is said to offer better fuel efficiency with the same level of safety due to lower rolling resistance. An agreement has been reached with Shell Eastern Petroleum to supply butadiene from plastic waste and biomass for the production of the new material.
The sustainable butadiene will be manufactured by Shell in Bukom (Singapore). It is produced using the mass balance process in two ways. In this process, a mix of sustainable and petroleum-derived feedstocks is used to calculate the proportion of sustainable feedstocks for individual products. In the first method, recycled feedstock/pyrolysis oil is obtained from plastic waste in a chemical process and fed to the naphtha cracker. This in turn can be used to produce chemicals. The second method uses biomass as a feedstock for the naphtha cracker. The use of sustainable S-SBR is expected to lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle of tires.