New Tires Made of Oil from Orange Peels

Of course Japan would come up with this one….tire manufacturer Yokohama is now selling a tire model made with 80 percent non-petroleum material, substituting orange oil as the primary ingredient to make vulcanized rubber.

The new tire is called the Super E-spec™ and has already received the Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award in 2008. Yokohama will initially market the tire for hybrid car models such as the Toyota Prius.

“The eco-focused dB Super E-spec mixes sustainable orange oil and natural rubber to drastically cut the use of petroleum, without compromising performance,” Yokohama vice president of sales Dan King said. “It also helps consumers save money at the gas pump by improving fuel efficiency via a 20-percent reduction in rolling resistance.”

Orange oil is considered sustainable because it is produced from a renewable resource. The same philosophy of reducing petroleum use is utilized in producing plastics from corn starch or vegetable oil. I love the new drink cups made from corn starch except they have been melting in my car with all this heat this summer!
Yokohama has yet to release the environmental impact of disposing these tires, which typically provides an environmental concern. The petroleum in traditional tires can burn for months in a landfill and is difficult to extinguish. These fires also release black smoke and toxins into the air. Yokohama has not specified whether the orange oil will biodegrade over time. Let’s hope they will.

The process for recycling tires involves devulcanizing the rubber, which would essentially remove the oil and extract natural rubber. Because this is an expensive process, used tires are often shredded and turned into playground surfacing or additives for the soil in sports turf.

What Comes After A Trillion?

We had better learn quickly with the economy tanking.

The supply of newly-minted dollars bills has doubled since George W. Bush took his first oath of office. The world’s known supply of crude oil has decreased by about 13% over the same timeframe. These two data points are part of a new macroeconomic equation that equals soaring oil prices.

Before the human race began sinking oil wells into the ground 150 years ago, the planet’s total geological inheritance of crude oil totaled about 2 trillion barrels. But mankind has already burned up about one trillion of those barrels. So we’ve only got one trillion left. By contrast, during those same 150 years, America’s total government liabilities exploded from $75 million to $54.6 trillion.

As the planet’s supply of oil slips below one trillion barrels, and America’s pile of liabilities soars above 54 trillion dollars, crazy things might start to happen – crazy things like $200 per barrel oil.

Net of all accounting gimmicks, the actual federal budget deficit is running at an unsustainable, system-dooming pace.

The consolidated statements show that the actual annual federal deficit for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006 was $4.6 trillion, up from $3.5 trillion in 2005. Total federal obligations at year-end were $54.6 trillion, up from $50.0 trillion in 2005.

By the time poor Obama takes office I am sure we will be looking at a number I used as a child KAZILLION!