Evonik makes tyres from bio-based (rice husk ash), in partnership with Thai rice mills

  • 2022-11-23
Evonik, the world's leading specialty chemicals company, has recently entered into strategic cooperation with Porner Group of Austria and Phichit Bio Power Limited of Thailand to supply sustainable precipitation ULTRASIL® silica to the tire industry. The key raw material for this sustainable product, sodium silicate, is made from agricultural waste rice husk ash, and the entire production process uses green energy.

Silicon dioxide plays a key role in the manufacture of green tires. Green tires can reduce energy consumption by up to 8 percent compared with traditional passenger car tires. The tyre industry is seeing a surge in demand for sustainable ingredients.

The new sustainable ULTRASIL® silica is prepared by bio-based sodium silicate, and the whole production process uses green energy. As a result, the carbon footprint of this new sustainable precipitation method for silica will be significantly reduced.

Evonik and its partners are committed to further improving the sustainability of tire manufacturing and increasing the use of renewable materials in the tire industry. Porner Group uses a leading production process to produce silicates from rice husk ash, and the production process uses biomass energy.

Thanks to this, Evonik Sustainable silica has a 30% lower carbon dioxide footprint than traditional silica products. Thai biomass energy producer Phichit Bio Power Co., LTD. (Rice Mill) and Porner Group have signed a technology licensing agreement to invest in the construction of a new rice husk ash sodium silicate plant in Thailand.

The move will increase the supply of bio-based sodium silicate, allowing Evonik to increase its capacity to produce sustainable silica to meet the needs of the global tire industry.

Emmanuel Auer, Evonik's Silicon Dioxide business line leader, said: "This collaboration is a very strategic first step in the next development of our product portfolio.

For the first time, Evonik is offering the ULTRASIL® silica product with more sustainable advantages to support our customers in their goal of carbon reduction and recycling development. "Our other manufacturing sites around the world are also making plans to expand their supply of renewable products to meet global demand in a more sustainable way."

Gerhard Bacher, Chief Executive Officer of Porner Germany, said: "We have confirmed the superior quality of the biobased silicates in our pre-certification cooperation with Evonik at our demonstration plant in Germany.

Our patented process uses the rice husk ash left after combustion in the biomass energy plant as the raw material, the Porner bio-based silicate technology and the original technology in the rice mill organic combination, to produce a variety of uses of high quality sodium silicate, they can be used to produce tire silica.

Through this cooperation, we have achieved industrial production of bio-based silicates with a significantly reduced carbon dioxide footprint compared to traditional processes. We have started to promote the decarbonisation of the global silicate industry."

Banjong Tangjitwattanakul, President of Phichit Bio Power Co., LTD., Thailand, said, "The environmental benefits of producing silicates from rice husk ash are excellent. In addition, the cooperation will bring benefits to local development.

For example, new factories will create jobs for local communities, and farmers will be connected to our power generation network. We are proud to be part of this collaborative project to help reduce the carbon footprint of the silica production process and protect the planet's environment."

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