LANXESS pioneering high performance rubbers for green mobility in China

  • LANXESS stages Green Rubber Day in Beijing under the motto High Tech for Green Mobility
  • Latest technology for green tires showcased at the world-class forum
  • Sales in China expected to exceed EUR 1 billion for the first time in 2012
  • New joint venture with TSRC for Nitrile Rubber (NBR) to commence production in the first half of 2012


Beijing, December 2, 2011 – LANXESS, the world’s largest synthetic rubber company, is staging its second China Rubber Day in Beijing. And this year, the specialty chemicals company is hosting the world-class event alongside with China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF). Themed High-Tech for Green Mobility, the whole-day forum has attracted about 400 representatives from authorities, industry and academy to exchange ideas and discover more about high performance rubber in shaping the future of China’s green mobility.


China is already the world’s largest tire manufacturer, accounting for approximately one third of the world’s total production. As the global tire manufacturers continue to move their plants to China, the industry is set to grow even further in the coming few years, said a study conducted by China Business Network Institute on behalf of LANXESS. “Green tires” that are more fuel efficient, safer and durable than standard tires, are the fastest-growing segment of the tire industry, with annual growth rate of around 10 percent globally. In China, the proportion of green tires is likely to rise to as much as 50 percent of the entire tire market by 2020, says a current study by Munich Technical University (TUM).

With high-performance rubber for green tires, LANXESS is well positioned for this fast growing market. “China will continue to be a cornerstone of our fast-growing Asian business,” said LANXESS CEO Axel C. Heitmann. The specialty chemicals company is expecting its sales in China to exceed EUR 1 billion for the first time in 2012. “Our technology-driven products, which facilitate sustainable mobility, will play a major part in achieving this sales target.”

Premium rubber for green tires in China
LANXESS is the key supplier of Nd-PBR and SSBR rubbers, which are essential in the production of green tires. Nd-PBR is used mainly in the tread and sidewalls of green tires. This rubber grade enables a lower rolling resistance than many other tire rubbers. It also reduces tire abrasion and therefore plays a substantial role in making cars safer and more durable. SSBR is used primarily in the tread of green tires. This rubber grade reduces the rolling resistance of tires while also improving wet grip. Using a green tire that has been produced with high-performance rubber can decrease the fuel consumption of a car by 5 to 7 %, and consequently reduce the emission of CO₂.


In China, the demand for green tires keeps growing driven by the megatrend mobility as well as people’s increasing consciousness of environment protection. In addition, the compulsory labeling of tires that is set to come into force around the world will create additional demand. To date, such a labeling system for classifying rolling resistance and wet grip has been set up in Japan and South Korea. A system of voluntary tire labeling has been in place in Japan since 2010. South Korea implemented a similar concept in November 2011. It plans to introduce compulsory labeling from November 2012, when labeling will also become compulsory for all tires in the EU. Other countries such as Brazil, the United States and China are expected to follow suit in the coming years.


To meet the demand of the growing market, LANXESS has launched a new joint venture for the production of Nitrile Rubber (NBR) in conjunction with Taiwan-based TSRC. Production, which is aimed to serve the Chinese market, is set to begin in the first half of 2012 with an annual capacity of 30,000 metric tons. NBR is known for its higher resistance to oil than conventional rubbers. They also demonstrate a better resistance to abrasion, ozone, UV light, hot air and long-term aging.


At the Green Rubber Day event, LANXESS has showcased its cutting edge technology and latest products, including Keltan Eco – the first bio-based ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) synthetic rubber in the world. EPDM is used above all in the automotive industry in door sealants or windshield wipers. Keltan Eco is produced using bio-based ethylene derived from sugar cane. In terms of quality, the bio-based ethylene is absolutely on a par with comparable products. Commercial production has recently started and LANXESS’ initial plan is to produce around 10,000 metric tons of the products annually for the global market.


Rubber Days keep rolling
Building up on the first World Rubber Day in Germany in 2009 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its invention of synthetic rubber, LANXESS has rolled-out the Rubber Day concept and launched a series of regional rubber conferences since 2010.


In China, it is the second time to stage this high-caliber event after the first time in Macao in 2010. Aimed to create greater awareness of green tires and foster discussions of sustainable mobility, the conference has gained this year some prestigious institutes and universities to be the partners. They are China Rubber Industry Association, China Synthetic Rubber Association, German Institute for Rubber Research, Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Qingdao University of Science and Technology. Around 400 representatives from business, academia, media and authorities have taken part in the event, along with the German Ambassador to China, Dr. Michael Schäfer.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 16,100 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 47 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good.


Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


Information for editors:

All LANXESS news releases and accompanying photo, video and audio material can be found at http://www.lanxess.cn.

Information on chemical products from LANXESS can also be found in our Web Magazine at http://webmagazine.lanxess.cn.


Charlene Pan

Charlene Pan
Corporate Communications

LANXESS Chemical (China) Company Limited

6F, 5 Corporate Avenue

150 Hu Bin Road, Huangpu District

200021 Shanghai

China, CN

Phone: +86 21 6109 6716

Fax: +86 21 6109 6717

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