Continental uses carbon black from recycled racing tires in its production of solid tires. To this end, a total of 300 CrossContact Extreme E racing tires were processed using a special pyrolysis process. By recovering carbon black, virgin raw materials can be saved, and CO2 emissions reduced.
Since September 2023, Continental has been producing solid tires – whose main application is in forklifts – with recycled carbon black at its plant in Korbach (Germany). Both recycled car and truck tires are used to produce these tires.
“By recycling our Extreme E racing tires we are raising awareness of the significant potential of tire pyrolysis. We are in no doubt that cutting-edge and highly efficient pyrolysis processes will make an important contribution to increasing sustainability in the tire industry,” says Matthias Haufe, Head of Material Development and Industrialization at Continental Tires. “We already use circular raw materials in our tire production. By 2050 at the latest, we are aiming to have 60 percent tire to tire circularity. Our goal is to use fossil raw materials ever more sparingly and at the same time further reduce our CO2 emissions.”
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. This allows valuable raw materials from end-of-life tires to be extracted and recycled. The main examples here are oil, gas and industrial carbon black. The recovered oil can be used for various purposes, including to manufacture chemicals. Crude oil would otherwise be used here. Recovered gas serves, among other things, as an energy source for the pyrolysis process.
Continental is the exclusive tire partner of the all-electric race series Extreme E, its CrossContact Extreme E racing tires seeing action in the five X-Prix of the 2022 season in Saudi Arabia, Italy, Chile and Uruguay.