From solvents to plastics to paints and to, of course, biodiesel, soybean oil has displayed a diversity of uses that astound the farmers who produce the crop. The string of successful new uses of soybeans was extended when farmers discovered at the Commodity Classic this year that even farm tires can be made from soyoil.
And not just any tire, but massive tractor rubber!
Bridgestone Americas, whose Firestone brand tires are found in use in fields around the world, revealed they are testing a tractor tire that contains 10% soybean oil. Each 900-pound tire contains about 90 pounds of soybean oil. That’s the equivalent of about eight bushels of soybeans and is enough product to completely replace the petroleum-based oils now employed to produce tires, according to the company.
“We put two and two together, and making ag tires out of soybeans is a natural fit to start some of those efforts,” adds Tom Rodgers of Firestone.
The company expects that the first soy-based tires could hit the market yet this winter. Bridgestone wants to use soyoil in its entire line of farm tires by the end of this year.