Dunlop Tires First to Use Liquid Farnesene Rubber

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In Japan, Sumitomo Rubber Industries will use liquid farnesene rubber, a biobased performance-enhancing additive developed by Amyris and Kurarary, in its Dunlop-branded Winter Maxx 02 tires.

Amyris says the additive improves tire grip and performance at low temperatures. The LFR-treated tires will be available across the entire Winter Maxx 02 portfolio, which includes 91 sizes.

The deal marks the first global tire brand to adopt the technology, says Amyris president and CEO John Melo. “The better than expected results from this first launch are leading to significantly better early sales of LFR than we expected. We expect this commercial entry is just the start of anticipated adoption by other major brands across the world.”

LFR’s viscosity is much lower than current liquid isoprene rubber, making it easier for rubber manufacturers to use, and it maintains flexibility at low temperatures. LFR’s chemical structure also reacts completely with solid rubber during processing. This ensures that, unlike oil additives, LFR stays bonded to keep tires softer, longer.

Amyris’ farnesene, trade named Biofene, can also be used to produce cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and industrial lubricants, as well as transportation fuels such as diesel and jet fuel.