FULLERTON, CA - It's rare for a tire to be showcased in a museum, but Yokohama Tire Corporation's BluEarth-1™ - the company's latest orange oil-infused passenger car tire - is an exception. Its breakthrough eco technology will be highlighted in a special two-year exhibit at the Museum of Science, Boston starting in the fall of this year.
The "Making a Greener Tire" interactive display, which will be in the museum's Transportation, Renewable Energy and Nanotechnology area, revolves around the BluEarth-1's technology, which combines oil extracted from orange peels with silica and natural rubber to form "Super Nano-Power Rubber™" (SNPR). This technology was initially utilized in Yokohama's innovative and groundbreaking dB Super E-spec™ tire.
The SNPR allows for less petroleum to be used in the manufacturing process and conserves fuel as it reduces rolling resistance by up to 20 percent - minimizing the energy wasted (as heat) as the tire rolls down the road. Yokohama is the first - and only - tire manufacturer in the world to employ orange oil technology.
"The exhibit is extremely gratifying for Yokohama because it validates our commitment to technology that will protect Earth," said Yasushi Tanaka, Yokohama president and CEO. "The Museum of Science, Boston is a leading educational and cultural institution that is ranked among the top science centers in the world.
"Yokohama is a technology-driven company with a global mandate to protect the environment. In fact, our new overall global environmental initiative is called 'BluEarth,' which includes the BluEarth-1 tire. BluEarth is our product engineering philosophy aimed at producing tires that are environmentally-, socially-, and human-friendly. That's why we are honored the museum feels our eco-friendly orange oil technology is significant enough to be presented in an exhibit."
According to Paul Fontaine, Vice President of Education at the Museum of Science, the BluEarth exhibit reflects the Museum's commitment to highlighting environmental issues and enhancing technological literacy. "We are constantly working to expand the public's understanding of new technologies through exhibits, programs, events and publications. This display is especially timely because it showcases an innovative, green approach to manufacturing. We welcome the opportunity to bring this cutting edge technology to our visitors."
Also featured in the museum's exhibit will be the BluEarth-1's AIRTEX™ Advanced Liner that is designed to reduce the amount of air from seeping out from the tire. Maintaining appropriate inflation levels is crucial because under-inflated tires consume more power, thus using more fuel.
The BluEarth-1, available now in Japan and Europe, will launch in the U.S. in 2012 in three sizes for hybrids and other vehicles, including the Toyota Prius, MINI Cooper, and VW Golf and Jetta.