Nokian Tyres has made a long term purchase agreement with a tyre recycling joint venture, part of a plan to increase the share of recycled and renewable raw materials in tyres to 50% by 2030.

The company started to use recovered carbon black in a commercial product line in 2022 and the new deal enables its increased use.

The joint venture, formed by Antin Infrastructure Partners and Scandinavian Enviro Systems, plans to establish recycling plants across Europe with capacity to recycle up to 1m tons of tyres annually by 2030. The first plant, in Sweden, is expected to be fully operational by 2025. Deliveries to Nokian Tyres will begin in 2026.

Carbon black is used as a reinforcing filler in tyres to enhance their physical properties, such as strength. As virgin carbon blacks are fossil based, replacing them partly with recovered carbon black decreases the environmental burden of tyres’ raw materials. It also accelerates the circular economy of the industry as the recovered carbon black is made with pyrolysis from scrapped tyres.

“The emissions from manufacturing recovered carbon black are over 90% lower than those from virgin carbon blacks,” said Juha Hietalahti, head of procurement at Nokian Tyres.

“When introducing new raw materials in tyres, one of the most demanding tasks is to find the right balance between raw material selection and tyre properties, as the use of recycled or renewable materials must not impair safety characteristics.”

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