A team of researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses in a process that could shift the tire production industry toward using renewable resources found right in our backyards.
The technology has been patented by the University of Minnesota and is available for licensing through the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization.
The new study is published by the American Chemical Society’s ACS Catalysis, a leading journal in the chemical and catalysis sciences. Authors of the study, include researchers from the University of Minnesota, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Center for Sustainable Polymers, a National Science Foundation-funded center at the University of Minnesota.
“Our team created a new chemical process to make isoprene, the key molecule in car tires, from natural products like trees, grasses, or corn,” said Paul Dauenhauer, a University of Minnesota associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science and lead researcher of the study. “This research could have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar automobile tires industry.”