Synthetic rubber is currently sourced from oil. Michelin wants to make tyres from rubber sourced from renewable feedstocks. The French manufacturer has teamed up with Amyris of America to work on renewable rubbers. Amyris is a renewable chemicals and fuels company.
Last week the two companies signed a definitive agreement to collaborate in the development of the No Compromise brand of renewable isoprene, the chemical building block in rubber tyres and other products that use synthetic and natural rubbers.
Under the agreement, Amyris and Michelin will partner to contribute funding and technical resources to develop Amyris’s technology to produce isoprene from renewable feedstocks. Amyris expects to begin commercializing this isoprene in 2015. Michelin has signed a ten-year deal with Amyris.
Amyris converts plant-based sugars into isoprene, the main ingredient in the production of synthetic rubber.
Michelin manufactures tyres for cars, bicycles, tractors and motorcycles. There's no word yet on which sectors Michelin will target with the No Compromise brand but it certainly fits with the green credentials of cycling.
The Michelin tyre company was originally founded to to manufacture bicycle tyres. In 1891, the Michelin company had taken out its first patent for a removable pneumatic tyre which was used by Charles Terront to win the world's first long distance cycle race, the 1891 Paris–Brest–Paris. Michelin started to produce automobile tyres in 1895.