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| 2:21 PM EST

Goodyear Touts Soybean-Oil Tire

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is launching what it says is the first tire to use soybean oil-based rubber.
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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is launching what it says is the first tire to use soybean oil-based rubber.

The soybean-derived oil replaces petroleum oil, which accounts for 8% of a tire’s weight, in the tread compound. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, Goodyear says the new formulation helps keep the rubber compound pliable in cold or wet weather.

Using soybean oil also improves manufacturing efficiencies and reduces energy consumption, according to the company. The tiremaker didn’t quantify the improvements.

The technology was developed with support from the United Soybean Board, a Chesterfield, Mo.-based farmers coalition. Goodyear is launching the soybean compound in its Assurance WeatherReady replacement tires sold through aftermarket retailers and online at Goodyear.com.

Goodyear developed the technology two years ago at its Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio. The company hopes to eventually replace all petroleum-based oils with soybean oil in its tires.