Carbios and Michelin take a major step towards the development of 100% sustainable tires
Michelin has successfully validated the use of Carbios enzymatic recycling technology for PET1 plastic waste in its tires
Carbios confirms the potential of its recycled PET to meet all types of applications – from bottles to clothing fibers and technical fibers
Validation of Carbios technology in Michelin tests marks a new step towards 100% sustainable tires
CARBIOS (Euronext Growth Paris: ALCRB), a pioneer in new bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textile polymers, and MICHELIN, leader in sustainable mobility, has taken a major step in the development of 100% sustainable tires. Michelin has successfully tested and applied Carbios’ enzymatic recycling process for PET plastic waste, in order to create a high tenacity tire fiber that meets the technical requirements of the tire giant.
Enzymatic recycling: a revolutionary process
Carbios enzymatic recycling process uses an enzyme capable of depolymerizing PET contained in various plastics or textiles (bottles, trays, polyester clothing, etc.). This innovation allows infinite recycling of all types of PET waste. It also allows the production of 100% recycled and 100% recyclable PET products, with the same quality as if they were made with virgin PET.
The application of enzymatic recycling of PET in car tires: a world first
Conventional thermomechanical recycling processes for complex plastics do not achieve the high performance PET quality required for pneumatic applications. However, the monomers resulting from the Carbios process, which used colored and opaque plastic waste such as bottles, once repolymerized in PET, made it possible to obtain a high tenacity fiber meeting the requirements of Michelin tires.
The technical fiber obtained is of the same quality as that of virgin PET, treated with the same prototype facilities. This high tenacity polyester is particularly suitable for tires, due to its breaking strength, toughness and thermal stability.
“We are very proud to be the first to have produced and tested recycled technical fibers for tires. These reinforcements were made from colored and recycled bottles using the enzymatic technology of our partner Carbios, ”said Nicolas Seeboth, director of polymer research at Michelin. . “These high-tech reinforcements have demonstrated their ability to provide performance identical to that of the petroleum industry.”
Carbios’ enzymatic recycling process thus enables Michelin to move closer to its sustainable ambitions and contributes to the entry of tires into a true circular economy. Michelin is committed to achieving 40% sustainable materials (renewable or recycled origin) by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
The potential of the Carbios process confirmed
This major step constitutes a world first in the tire sector and confirms the potential of the Carbios process to engage the industry in a responsible transition towards a sustainable circular economy model.
Every year, 1.6 billion car tires are sold worldwide (by all tire manufacturers). The PET fibers used in these tires represent 800,000 tonnes of PET per year.
Applied to Michelin, this represents nearly 3 billion plastic bottles per year that could be recycled into technical fibers for use in the company’s tires.
“In 2019, Carbios announced that it had produced the first PET bottles containing 100% purified terephthalic acid (rPTA), resulting from the enzymatic recycling of post-consumer PET waste. Today, with Michelin, we are demonstrating the full extent of our process by obtaining from this same plastic waste, recycled PET adapted to highly technical fibers, such as those used in Michelin tires ”, declared Alain Marty, scientific director of Carbios.
Carbios, a green chemistry company, develops biological and innovative processes to revolutionize the end of life of plastics and textiles. Through its unique approach to combining enzymes and plastics, Carbios intends to meet new consumer expectations and the challenges of a broader energy transition by taking up a major challenge of our time: plastic and textile pollution.
Created in 2011 by Truffle capital, Carbios’ mission is to provide an industrial solution for recycling PET plastics and textiles (the dominant polymer in bottles, trays, polyester textiles). The enzymatic recycling technology developed by Carbios deconstructs any type of PET plastic waste into its basic components which can then be reused to produce new PET plastics of a quality equivalent to virgin plastics. This PET innovation, the first of its kind in the world, was recently recognized in a scientific article published in the prestigious journal Nature. In addition, Carbios works hand in hand with multinational brands – such as L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe – to implement its technology and lead the transition to a true circular economy.
The Company has also developed an enzymatic biodegradation technology for single-use plastics based on PLA (a bio-based polymer). This technology makes it possible to create a new generation of plastics that are 100% compostable in domestic conditions, integrating enzymes at the heart of the plastic product. This breakthrough innovation was authorized to Carbiolice, a joint venture created in 2016, in which Carbios now holds a majority stake alongside the SPI fund operated by Bpifrance.
For more information, please visit https://carbios.com/en/.
Michelin, a leader in mobility, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of its customers; design and distribute the tires, services and solutions best suited to the needs of its customers; provide digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and trips and make them unique experiences; and the development of high-tech materials that serve a variety of industries. Based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin operates in 170 countries, employs 123,600 people and operates 71 tire production plants which, together, produced approximately 170 million tires in 2020.
Carbios (ISIN FR0011648716 / ALCRB) is eligible for PEA-PME, a government program allowing French residents investing in SMEs to benefit from income tax reductions.
This press release does not constitute and cannot be considered to constitute an offer to the public, an offer to sell or an offer to subscribe or a solicitation to solicit an order to buy or sell in any country.
Translation for informational purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between the French version and the English version of this press release, the French version shall prevail.
1 PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) PET is a petroleum-based plastic whose monomers, ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, come from the processing of petroleum. PET is the raw material for one of the main textile fibers used in tire reinforcements.
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