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Nokian and UPM introduce concept tire using bio-based carbon black alternative

Nokian Tyres is introducing a concept tire partly based on a renewable filler developed by UPM Biochemicals, a German producer of wood-based biochemicals. UPM BioMotion Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) are CO₂-negative and offer a lighter weight, 100% renewable alternative to traditional reinforcing fillers, including carbon black. Nokian Tyres has pledged to increase the share of recycled or renewable raw materials in its tires to 50% by 2030. Nokian has been using carbon black produced from recycled materials in tires since 2022, and the company sees UPM BioMotion RFF as another potential route to meet its sustainability goals. Nokian Tyres will be the first tire manufacturer incorporating UPM’s Renewable Functional Fillers into a concept tire.

UPM Biochemicals is investing EUR 1,180 million to build the world’s first industrial scale biorefinery in Leuna, Germany that will convert sustainably sourced, certified hardwood into next generation biochemicals. The Leuna biorefinery is part of a broader growth area, UPM Biorefining, which is scaling refineries to produce a variety of renewable fuels and chemicals made from sustainable biomass.

Nokian did not provide further details on the concept tire, but it is currently being exhibited at UPM's booth at the German rubber industry conference DKT 2024 in Nürnberg, Germany, which is being held from July 1 to 4, 2024.

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