Banishing Highly Aromatic Oils from Tire Production

Since 2010, the use of highly aromatic oils is prohibited by law in the European Union. Although this legislation applies only to tires manufactured in Europe or imported into Europe, the change is being implemented at all Continental tire plants worldwide.

The EU directive prohibits aromatic oils with a high polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) content, even though natural solvents (rain water) cannot cause the oils to be released from either the tire or tire abrasion particles. Aromatic oils are used in tire manufacturing as key compounding components to achieve certain safety-related performance characteristics.

Already back in 1995 Continental started using alternatives in place of highly aromatic oils and steering its European plants in the direction of eco-friendly oils. At the end of 2009, the R&D team was able to successfully conclude the process worldwide.