Continental Transforms Racing Tires into Forklift Tires: Innovative Conversion Process

Continental Transforms Racing Tires into Forklift Tires: Innovative Conversion Process

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable tire manufacturing, Continental, the premium tire manufacturer, is leading the way by recycling Extreme E racing tires from the 2022 season. The company is utilizing Recovered Carbon Black (rCB) extracted through a specialized pyrolysis process, with the aim of incorporating 100 percent sustainable materials in its tire products by 2050. Together with its partner Pyrum Innovations, Continental is currently developing processes to further optimize and expand the recycling of end-of-life tires through pyrolysis. For instance, recovered industrial carbon black is to be used in an increasing number of Continental rubber compounds going forward. Pyrum processes end-of-life tires into their individual components using its patented pyrolysis technology. The main examples here are oil, gas and industrial carbon black.  Crude oil would otherwise be used here. Recovered gas serves, among other things, as an energy source for the pyrolysis process.  Together with Pyrum Innovations, Continental is currently developing processes that will continue to improve and expand the recycling of end-of-life tires through pyrolysis. For instance, recovered industrial carbon black is to be used in an increasing number of rubber compounds.

?Key Features

1. The Transformation Process: Extreme E Tires to Super Elastic Solid Tires: Continental's innovative approach involves the transformation of 300 CrossContact Extreme E racing tires through a specialized pyrolysis process. The extracted carbon black is then utilized in the production of Super Elastic solid tires, with a primary application in forklifts.

2. Circular Economy Integration: Continental's Vision for Sustainable Tire Production: The integration of recycled carbon black into solid tire production at Continental's Korbach plant since September 2023 exemplifies the tire manufacturer's commitment to circular economy principles.

3. Recovered Carbon Black: A Key Player in Sustainable Tire Manufacturing: Beyond reducing the dependence on virgin raw materials, rCB significantly lowers CO2 emissions, aligning with Continental's broader environmental goals.

4. Continental's Circular Raw Material Journey: Towards 60 Percent Tire-to-Tire Circularity: Continental has been at the forefront of incorporating circular raw materials into its tire production. The goal is ambitious – achieving 60 percent tire-to-tire circularity by 2050.

5. Recycled Racing Tires as Sustainability Advocates: Raising Awareness through Innovation: By recycling Extreme E racing tires, Continental isn't just transforming materials but also raising awareness about the untapped potential of tire pyrolysis. The solid tires produced with recycled carbon black find their primary application in forklifts.  As the company charts a course towards 60 percent tire-to-tire circularity, it not only aims to minimize its environmental impact but also sets an industry precedent.

9. The Larger Impact: Carbon Emission Reduction and Resource Conservation: The utilization of recycled racing tires in solid tire production goes beyond the immediate benefits for Continental.

?As the exclusive tire partner of the fully electric race series Extreme E, Continental is not merely a participant; it is at the forefront of ushering in a sustainable era in motorsports. The CrossContact Extreme E racing tires, donned during the five X-Prix events of the 2022 season, are more than just high-performance rubber meeting the demands of extreme racing – they are a testament to Continental's commitment to sustainability. In the development of the second-generation Extreme E racing tires, Continental has taken a giant leap, ensuring that an impressive 43 percent of the tire's composition comprises recycled and renewable raw materials.

Important Points

1. Driving Sustainability: The Evolution of Extreme E Racing Tires: Continental's technical prowess comes to the fore as it evolves the Extreme E racing tires, not just for performance but for sustainability. The 2022 season witnessed a groundbreaking shift with approximately 43 percent of the tire's composition derived from recycled and renewable raw materials. This includes silica sourced from rice husk ash and the innovative ContiRe.Tex technology, which transforms recycled PET bottles into high-performance polyester fibers reinforcing the tire casing.

2. ContiRe.Tex Technology: Transforming PET Bottles into Tire Reinforcement: At the heart of Continental's sustainable tire innovation lies the ContiRe.Tex technology.

3. Silica from Rice Husk Ash: A Green Approach to Material Sourcing: Continental's commitment to sustainability extends to the sourcing of materials, with silica derived from rice husk ash playing a pivotal role.

4. A Second Life for Racing Tires: From Paving Stones to Tire Regeneration: Continental's dedication to recycling doesn't stop at the end of a racing season. The tires from the 2021 season were repurposed under the banner "Turning racing tires into living space." The result? 400 square meters of rubber paving stones that found a new life in a basketball court in Hanover, providing a vibrant space for local children to play. Taking recycling a step further, the tires from the 2022 season are channeled back into tire regeneration, closing the loop and minimizing waste.

5. Sustainability Advocate: Continental's Message to Motorsports: Continental's actions speak louder than words as it positions itself as a sustainability advocate in the world of motorsports.

6. Local Impact: A Basketball Court from Racing Tires: Continental's commitment to local communities is evident in its impactful recycling initiatives. The rubber paving stones from recycled racing tires became a crucial component of a new basketball court in Hanover.

7. A Holistic Approach: Towards 100 Percent Sustainable Materials: Continental's journey in sustainable tire manufacturing is far from over. Continental's message to the motorsports world is clear – sustainability is not just a choice; it's an imperative that can redefine the landscape of high-performance racing for generations to come.

Circular economy is an integral element of Continental’s sustainability strategy

The use of recovered carbon black from end-of-life-tires is an important step towards more circular business practices in Continental’s tire production. The company is working tirelessly to advance innovative technologies and sustainable products and services throughout its entire value chain, from sourcing sustainable materials to recycling end-of-life tires. Continental is aiming to achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality throughout its value chain by 2050 at the latest.