Soybean Oil Comes Full Circle in Firestone Ag Tires
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations continues its shift into the sustainability fast lane—replacing petroleum in Firestone tractor tires with renewable soybean oil—and is expanding research, incorporating the latest soybean oil derivative to hit the market: high oleic soybean oil.
Five years ago, the company revealed a new concept tire containing more than 10 percent soybean oil. With approximately 90 lbs. of soybean oil, the concept tire signaled Bridgestone’s commitment to incorporate renewable sourced raw materials into their tread compounds. The occasion also highlighted a vertical supply integration bringing oil from soybean fields into the tires used to harvest them.
Today various percentages of soybean oil are in all of the Ag tires produced in the Bridgestone Des Moines, Iowa plant.
“Advances in soy technology and the availability of industrial-grade high oleic soybean oil is helping us build more performance improvements into our tires,” says Amy Randall, Bridgestone manager of innovation and technology. “Our research is definitely not a ‘one and done’ thing. That’s because discoveries we make not only benefit us, they also increase industrial demand for soybean oil, which is good for farmers.”
The company continues to research ways to incorporate even more at the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio.
“We are committed to accelerating sustainable mobility solutions as part of Bridgestone’s “Our Way to Serve” corporate social responsibility program,” says Tom Rodgers, executive director, Bridgestone agricultural solutions. “Our objective is to engineer high-performing products in the most responsible and sustainable way. Producing Ag tires that incorporate soybean oil is a natural fit.”