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UPM and Nokian Tyres partner to revolutionize the tire industry by introducing the first concept tire with UPM BioMotionTM Renewable Functional Filler

Helsinki (News release) - UPM Biochemicals and Nokian Tyres, a leading developer and manufacturer of premium tires, are set for an industry first with its concept tire partly based on UPM BioMotion™ Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF).

The partnership will launch UPM's CO₂-negative Renewable Functional Fillers1 into a new market segment and highlights the possibilities to use a lighter weight, 100% renewable alternative to traditional CO₂-intensive fillers.

"We are constantly working on innovations that advance us towards our target of increasing the share of recycled or renewable raw materials in tires to 50% by 2030. Since 2022, a portion of the carbon black used by Nokian Tyres has been made from recycled materials. We see UPM BioMotion™ RFF as a promising renewable alternative to traditional carbon black, and in the future, we hope to see that renewable filler materials will find their way into various tire applications, complementing an increasing share of recycled content", explains Teemu Soini, Vice President Innovations & Development at Nokian Tyres.

Functional fillers represent approximately 30% of a tire and consist of materials such as primarily carbon black and precipitated silica. According to an initial test series by Nokian Tyres, replacing functional fillers with UPM BioMotion™ RFF offers great potential for more sustainable tires and therefore is a highly relevant component on the path towards sustainable mobility. Nokian Tyres will be the first tire manufacturer incorporating UPM's Renewable Functional Fillers into their concept tire.

Michael Duetsch, Vice President Biochemicals at UPM, commented: "Our partnership with Nokian Tyres marks the exciting entry of our Renewable Functional Fillers into the global tire markets. In successfully demonstrating their application value, it helps us to lay the groundwork for scaling our biorefinery business so that we can make a significant contribution to the sustainable transformation of the mobility sector and beyond."

UPM's BioMotion™ RFF are among several CO2-negative solutions1 set to be produced at UPM's Leuna facility. The company is investing EUR 1,180 million to build the world's first industrial scale biorefinery in Leuna that will convert sustainably sourced, certified hardwood into next generation biochemicals - enabling the vital shift away from fossil-based to renewable materials across a wide range of industries. The Leuna biorefinery is part of a broader growth area, UPM Biorefining, which is scaling refineries to produce a variety of renewable fuels and chemicals made from sustainable biomass.

The first Nokian Tyres concept tire containing UPM BioMotion™ RFF will be exhibited at the German rubber industry conference DKT 2024 in Nürnberg, Germany, from July 1-4 at the UPM booth 527 in Hall 9.

1From cradle to gate, considering biogenic carbon from our feedstock and purchasing 100% green electricity.

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