Driving Towards Sustainability

“Green Truck Tires” enabled by Evonik's Silica/Silane Technology

In an era where climate change and resource scarcity are pressing concerns, innovative solutions are imperative. Road transportation, which is responsible for approximately 10 % of global CO2 emissions, is at the forefront of this challenge. Evonik’s pioneering “Green Tire” technology marks a significant advancement for the trucking industry. The novel Silica/Silane formulation enhances wet grip and reduces rolling resistance by up to 20 %, translating to substantial fuel savings, extended range, and a notable decrease in CO2 emissions. 

The Innovation Journey 

Evonik’s journey to this innovation began in its R&D laboratory, where a dedicated team of scientists and application engineers embarked on years of intensive research. Their breakthrough involved replacing carbon black—a traditional filler with considerable environmental impact—with an advanced Silica/Silane system in natural rubber-reinforced compounds, crucial for enduring the rigors of truck tires. 

“The new Silica/Silane formulation is a game-changer, not only for its environmental benefits but also for its superior performance,” explains Michael Kempf, Market Segment Head Tires & MRG, Business Line Silanes. “It’s the result of our relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to sustainability.” 

Enhanced Performance and Durability 

The team’s new Silica/Silane formulation significantly improves the bonding between silica and rubber, resulting in a more uniform and stable compound. This innovation not only offers a better cost-performance ratio but also enhances tire abrasion resistance and reduces rolling resistance, leading to increased longevity, reduced maintenance needs, and fuel savings. Additionally, the lower rolling resistance contributes to fuel savings.  

“Our focus was to create a formulation that not only performs better but also lasts longer,” says Anna Kunze, Global Marketing Head of Rubber Silica. “We’re proud to contribute to a solution that supports both the industry’s needs and environmental stewardship.” 

Global Production and Quality Assurance 

Evonik’s ability to produce both key ingredients for the new formulation at its existing production sites provides a strategic advantage in the global market. This is particularly beneficial for customers seeking regional solutions.  To ensure the highest quality, Evonik meticulously performs in-rubber tests in own applied technology labs in Europe and Asia to evaluate the compound’s physical and rubber properties, including tensile strength, elongation, hardness, density, and dynamic properties. 

From Laboratory to Road 

The production process includes the extrusion of the compound and its application to truck carcasses. The “Green Truck Tire” undergoes vulcanization—a process involving heat and pressure—to yield a robust and durable rubber product. Rigorous testing in the laboratory assesses the tire’s performance, safety, and quality, focusing on rolling resistance, wet grip, noise, and wear resistance. 

Realizing the Vision 

What began as an idea has now materialized into a tangible reality. Evonik’s Silica/Silane formulation for “Green Truck Tires” represents a significant contribution to the sustainable utilization of our resources.