Continental is the exclusive tire partner of the all-electric off-road racing series Extreme E.
In the most remote corners of the world, 10 teams, each consisting of one male and one female driver, compete against each other to draw attention to the climatic challenges around the world.
We have been the main sponsor and tire supplier for the racing series since 2021. In the 2022 season, we equipped the vehicles with our CrossContact Extreme E.
It was important to us not only to use sustainable materials in the production of the tires, but also to return the tires to the raw material cycle at the end of their life.
Since September 2023, all new Super Elastic solid tires produced at our tire plant in Korbach, Germany, have been made with recycled carbon black (rCB). This saves on the use of fossil raw materials and reduces CO2 emissions.
The carbon black is recovered from both car and truck tires using a special pyrolysis process developed by our partner Pyrum Innovations.
Our Extreme E tires for the 2022 season already set an example for sustainability through the use of sustainable materials. Now, by recycling the tires, we are making a significant contribution to the circular economy - and giving them a new life.
As well as using sustainable materials, it was also important to us to recycle our racing tires. As part of a closed-loop system, these will now become the starting material for new tires.
Nels von Schnakenburg, Technical Manager for Extreme E at Continental
Together with our partner Pyrum Innovations, we are currently developing processes to further optimize and expand the recycling of end-of-life tires through pyrolysis. In the future, recovered carbon black will be used in more and more Continental rubber compounds. Pyrum processes end-of-life tires into their individual components using its patented pyrolysis technology. In this way, valuable raw materials can be extracted from end-of-life tires and recycled. These include:
Recovered oil can be reused for the production of chemicals, thus avoiding the use of crude oil.
Recovered gas is used as an energy source for the pyrolysis process, among other things.
Carbon black can be used as an important filler in rubber compounds.
By recycling our Extreme E racing tires, we are raising awareness of the significant potential of tire pyrolysis. We are in no doubt that cutting-edge and highly efficient pyrolysis processes will make an important contribution to increasing sustainability in the tire industry
Matthias Haufe, Head of Material Development and Industrialization at Continental Tires