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Martin, Engineer
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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Questions about Biomass used to make tyres.How much Biomass

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Questions about Biomass used to make tyres.
How much Biomass is needed to make 1 average car tyre?
With the above amount, how many land (square kilometres) are required to grow the biomass?

Thank you for your time and help.
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Hello and welcome.

I assume you mean the biomass as heat energy and not as a material (as in latex).

According to that document:
at page 16, or 14 of the pdf, the production energy is 104 mega Joules.

One Btu is approximately 1.054 to 1.060 kJ, so 104,000 KJ is about 98113 BTU.

Here is a table for firewood in BTU:
As you are in the UK, if we take oak as a reference as it is often grown in coppice there you have 24MBTU for a cord.

A cord is 128 cubic feet.

24 MBTU = 128 cf
0.098113 MBTU = X

X = 0.52 cf of oak, about the size of a firewood log (idealized value without much loss).

From there, the amount of land depend on the cycle of biomass cutting you want to do and spacing you decide and the number of tire you want to produce. A full tree of around 30 year may give around 50 tires.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Martin,


Thank you so much for your response. However, I did mean biomass as raw material (particularly sugar crops).


I have a sustainable manufacturing group coursework which looks into tyre production. We focus on Bridgestone concept of 100% sustainable materials and were required to do data analysis. We are trying to figure out how many land do we need to be able to supply sugar crops to make 10 million tyres. We also need to know how much carbon is embodied in a sugar crop to be able to calculate the carbon emission for them.


I do not know how many percentage will the biomass supply replace the usual synthetic rubber, rubber materials, and filler from petroleum and coal in the tyre production. I do not have enough information to make a valid assumption.


Please find the link for more information:


Is there any suggestion?


Thank you for your time and support.

Sadly i will have to opt out of the question as i lack knowledge on the cellulose volume of that particular crop and the SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) molecular volume needed for a tire application. A chemist will probably take the question from there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry and thank you very much for your time, Martin!

While doing manual work today the Fischer–Tropsch process popped to my mind as a way to bypass the chemist molecular calculation i am not able to do.

From them RMA:
How much oil is required to produce a tire?
Approximately seven gallons. Five gallons are used as feedstock (from which the substances that combine to form synthetic rubber are derived), while two gallons supply the energy necessary for the manufacturing process.

Then from Standford:
You can use their example for the airline industry (and take the 45% for your crop instead of the 50% as it fit the grass class).
I was wondering why they seem to not care about the crude/diesel/kerosene volume difference when i found this article:
So it seem we can plug the 5 gallons per tire directly.

This is by no mean a detailed formal way to get to the answer but it should give a good approximation (i estimate at + or - 40%). Sorry to not finishing the math as i am in a hurry and just wanted to give you some data as i see nobody else took the question so far. You surely can finish the math from there on your own.

This only account for the material side, for the energy required my initial calculation still stand.

You can always contact Bridgestone to have access to their report about this (i don't think this is secret material), they surely have not announced something like that without a report ready to show to environmentalist.
Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4834
Experience: i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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