Goodyear
has introduced the world’s first tyre with a compound derived from corn at Europe’s
annual major auto show here.

The new Goodyear GT3 is the first tyre on the market using a new starch-based
filler material called BioTRED, which uses common corn as its "feedstock."

A patented innovation developed at the company’s Luxembourg technical center,
BioTRED partially replaces more conventional carbon black and silica.

"This presents important environmental advantages, including remarkably
lower rolling resistance and as a result, less fuel consumption, noise reduction,
lower carbon dioxide emissions and less energy consumption in the production
processes," said Filomeno Corvasce, the Goodyear engineer who developed
it.

"BioTRED uses renewable compounds versus non-renewable sources,” he added.

The starch used in the production of BioTRED is derived from corn, in a process
similar to the one used in food industries. Then it is treated to obtain micro-droplets
of starch.

In a next step, these micro droplets are treated, transforming them into a
biopolymeric filler. The end product has physical properties that differ substantially
from those of traditional fillers. The lower specific gravity of this new material
also reduces tyre weight and rolling inertia, thus further improving fuel efficiency.

The tyre is being introduced in Europe first by Ford as original equipment
on a new fuel-stingy version of the Fiesta. It will be sold in other regions
later.

There are 17 GT3 sizes for compact to medium-sized vehicles. They range from
155/70R13 to 195/65R15.