SUMITOMO RUBBER INDUSTRIES TOP > News > 2023 > Sumitomo Riko, Sumitomo Rubber, and Sumitomo Electric to Collaborate with US Carbon Recycling Firm LanzaTech to Accelerate Circular Economy: Joint Venture to Focus on Developing Waste Recycling Solutions

Sumitomo Riko, Sumitomo Rubber, and Sumitomo Electric to Collaborate with US Carbon Recycling Firm LanzaTech to Accelerate Circular Economy: Joint Venture to Focus on Developing Waste Recycling Solutions

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. is pleased to announce a collaboration with Sumitomo Riko Company Limited and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. This initiative is designed to further the development of recycling technologies, paving the way for a circular economy.

In November 2022, Sumitomo Riko announced a joint development agreement with LanzaTech Global, Inc. (‟LanzaTech”; Nasdaq: LNZA), a US-based carbon recycling firm known for its expertise in carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology. Sumitomo Rubber is delighted to announce today that Sumitomo Rubber, along with Sumitomo Electric, will be taking part in this joint development. The three companies will join forces with LanzaTech in joint development, aiming to pioneer groundbreaking technologies that enable a circular economy, transforming waste materials, including rubber, resin, urethane, and metal, into valuable resources. This will accelerate our efforts to create a sustainable society characterized by carbon neutrality and a circular economy—the goals of our unique circular economy concept, “TOWANOWA.” 

Under the circular economy concept “TOWANOWA,” we aim to recycle and make efficient use of finite resources, all the while capitalizing on our reservoir of big data to introduce groundbreaking, value-added solutions to our customers. Our goal is to foster a sustainable society, one that ensures safety, piece of mind, and comfort.

This time around, we are taking another step forward to accomplish a circular economy for raw materials. Together with Sumitomo Riko and Sumitomo Electric, we are pushing ahead with the development of new technologies in collaboration with LanzaTech. We aim to leverage LanzaTech’s biorecycling technology to turn waste materials like tires into isoprene, which can be used as new rubber materials. This will be achieved by gasifying the waste materials and purifying the resulting gas, and then putting them through a fermentation process that transforms the gas into new raw materials. Our end goal, working alongside raw material manufacturers, is to explore the feasibility of establishing a recycling technology that enables the reuse of isoprene as materials for rubber and resin. We are also contemplating the idea of recycling the metals recovered during the gasifying process and reusing them as raw materials.

Collaborative R&D framework

Our group manufactures and sells a diverse selection of tires globally. Our annual tire sales total 110 million (as of 2022). As new tires are manufactured and sold, a significant number of tires are thrown away every year. Many tires that get discarded in Japan are later incinerated, with the generated heat being put to practical use. To bring the “TOWANOWA” circular economy concept to life, it is crucial to advance “Recovery and Recycling” initiatives in our tire business and to create a system that transforms discarded tires into useful resources. This collaboration is an integral part of our research and development in recycling technology.

Although individual companies can contribute to building a sustainable society, accomplishing this goal on their own is a daunting task. Success requires fostering collaboration across diverse sectors, involving stakeholders from academia, industry, and government. Moving forward, we intend to continue intensifying our endeavors in each process of the circular business concept “TOWANOWA” and use data to boost efficiency in our internal development. Through engaging with diverse external stakeholders, we seek to share cutting-edge information and technology, thereby resolving social issues and creating a sustainable society.

Key visual of the circular economy concept “TOWANOWA”

Company Overview

Sumitomo Riko Company Limited

Headquarters 1-1-1 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi, Japan
Representative Kazushi Shimizu, Representative Director, President & CEO
Founded 1929
Business Overview Harnessing its core competencies in polymer materials technology and comprehensive evaluation technology, Sumitomo Riko operates across four fields: Automotive (Mobility), Infrastructure and Housing Environment, Electronics, and Healthcare.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.

Headquarters 3-6-9 Wakinohama-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
Representative Satoru Yamamoto, Representative Director, President & CEO
Founded 1909
Business Overview Sumitomo Rubber manufactures and sells tires, sporting goods, and industrial products. The company operates a global tire business under the brands Dunlop and Falken.

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Headquarters 4-5-33 Kitahama, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, Japan
Representative Osamu Inoue, President & COO
Founded 1897
Business Overview Sumitomo Electric contributes to creating a better society and environment through its work across five business segments: Environment & Energy, Infocommunications, Automotive, Electronics, and Industrial Materials.

LanzaTech Global, Inc.

Headquarters Illinois, United States
Representative Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO & Director
Founded 2005
Business Overview Headquartered in Skokie, IL, LanzaTech Global, Inc. (Nasdaq: LNZA) captures waste carbon and transforms it into materials such as sustainable fuels, fabrics, packaging, and other products. Using a variety of waste feedstocks, LanzaTech’s technology platform highlights a future where consumers are not dependent on virgin fossil feedstocks for everything in their daily lives. LanzaTech’s goal is to challenge and change the way the world uses carbon, enabling a new circular carbon economy where carbon is reused rather than wasted, skies and oceans are kept clean, and pollution becomes a thing of the past. For more on LanzaTech visit