Sustainability is a key aspect in the development of the technology used by the MotoE World Cup. That is why Michelin, supplier of tires for the series, is committed to the values of reducing emissions and protecting the environment.
The French manufacturer has openly joined green initiatives and recently announced 100% sustainable rubber production by 2050. The company back up a method to recycle plastic bottles with the aim of using it in tires. Now, Michelin is applying a special alchemy to repurpose slicks from the electric motorcycle category.
On each racing day of the tournament sponsored by Enel X, and which belongs to the International Motorcycling Federation (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, FIM), a quantity of 16 tires is assigned to each of the participating teams. The figure consists of four front and five rear, along with three for wet track in the front and four wet for the rear of the vehicle.
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Most designated MotoE slicks last for just one session, as riders prioritize grip to prevent accidents over sustainability. This situation causes a large number of tires to remain unused, and that is where Michelin’s work comes as a pioneer in recovering those resources and reusing them.
Key partnership for sustainability
Michelin recently announced a partnership with Swedish recycling company Enviro, to implement a method called pyrolysis, the brand’s patented, to extract key components from partially used tires.
Once decomposed, the recovered carbon black material can be reused for high-quality racing tires. Leftover steel can also be reused at Enviro and Michelin’s foundry facilities.
The tire maker expects the new process to increase the company’s already impressive sustainability figures. The MotoE currently has rear tires composed of 40 percent sustainable materials and the front tires are not far behind with 33 percent sustainable materials.
To meet those goals, Michelin uses ingredients such as orange and lemon peel, pine resin, sunflower oil, hevea sap, worn truck and car tires, and scrap steel instead of petroleum-based additives.
Over the course of the MotoE 2021 season, made up of seven grands prix, Michelin estimates that its tires will include 4.6 tonnes of sustainable materials. If the company can apply Enviro’s pyrolysis process more broadly, it can also reduce the amount of crude oil used to produce new carbon black.
Similar to the MotoE developments, Michelin is expected to be able to apply its racing-born technology to consumer goods in the near future as well.
Michelin components to reduce pollution
One of the most important missions Michelin has set itself in recent years is its commitment to a greener world. The company notes that to achieve that goal, they use a technology that involves more than 200 ingredients.
Perfectly dosed, these ingredients interact to achieve a set of benefits, both in terms of safety and comfort and reduction of environmental impact.
Michelin has implemented a dynamic whose objective is to use the least possible amount of raw material in the tires while maintaining maximum performance and efficiency. Its ultimate goal is to limit the environmental impact and have a favorable influence on the rolling resistance of the tire, with the consequent reduction in CO2 emissions.
Written by I Jhonattan González