Goodyear tests tires made with soybean oil

AKRON, Ohio — Goodyear is testing tires made with soybean oil as it tries to cut its use of petroleum and extend tread life.

The Akron, Ohio, company said Tuesday that its researchers have found that the tread on tires made partially with soybean oil can last 10 percent longer than current tires. The soybean oil, which comes from a renewable resource, could cut Goodyear’s use of petroleum by up to 7 million gallons per year, the company said in a statement.

Goodyear said prototype tires built at the company’s Lawton, Okla., plant will be tested at proving grounds in Texas in the coming month. If tests are positive, the soy oil could be used to make tires by 2015.

Testing has shown that rubber compounds made with soybean oil blend better than petroleum with the silica used to build tires, Goodyear said.

The stock price of Goodyear Tire &Rubber Co. rose 24 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $10.28 in premarket trading.

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