Replacing Petroleum...With Citrus

It’s called “Super Nanopower Rubber,” and according to the people at Yokohama Tire (www.yokohamatire.com; Fullerton, CA), the material reduces the use of petroleum products in tires by 80%. To make it, citrus oil is combined with natural rubber.

It’s called “Super Nanopower Rubber,” and according to the people at Yokohama Tire (www.yokohamatire.com; Fullerton, CA), the material reduces the use of petroleum products in tires by 80%. To make it, citrus oil is combined with natural rubber. The first tire produced with the material is the Decibel Super E-Spec that will be available in the Japanese market sometime in 2007. No date has been determined for the U.S. market. This tire includes a air permeation suppression film on the inside. Says Jim MacMaster, executive vp, Business Div. of Yokohama Tire in the U.S., “This new polymer inner lining is designed to reduce air from seeping out from the tire, which helps maintain appropriate inflation levels.” He also says, “The E-Spec is also a lot lighter and conserves gasoline by reducing rolling resistance by 18%. Lower rolling resistance tires improve fuel efficiency by minimizing the energy wasted [as heat] as the tire rolls down the road. No word on whether the tires have a fresh, lemony scent.