- The European Rubber Journal launched the top 10 list as part of its Elastomers for Sustainability (E4S) initiative
- Continental’s innovative new EcoRubber garden hose uses sugar cane ethylene to reduce greenhouse gases and utilize green raw materials
- Continental ranked 4th on the inaugural list competing against products from a variety of industries including automotive, construction, industrial and tires
Fairlawn, Ohio. July 27, 2020. The technology company Continental earned high marks from an independent panel of leading polymer and rubber experts for its latest EcoRubber garden hose that uses sugar cane ethylene rather than petroleum-based. Using sugar-cane polymer rather than petroleum-based polymer reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent.
“Continental is consistently evaluating renewable oils and reclaimed or recycled materials that will reduce our reliance on petroleum-based products while also reducing emissions and landfill of end-of-life rubber products. There were few EPDM rubber grades available with bio-renewable content, so we saw an opportunity,” said Andreas Gerstenberger, Executive Vice President at Continental and head of the Industrial Fluid Solutions business unit. “It was our goal to increase the overall amount of renewable material in garden hose construction while maintaining hose performance.”
Continental’s EcoRubber uses sustainable content from the sugar cane plant for 70 percent of its mass; the goal is to use 95 percent sustainable content from green or non-petroleum raw materials. “The production of the ethanol from sugar cane for this EPDM is carbon negative to the amount of almost 2 tons of CO2 per ton of polymer. In contrast, petrochemical-based ethanol generates about 2 tons of CO2 per ton of polymer. Finally, the yield of ethanol from sugar cane used in the EPDM is twice that of corn-based ethanol,” added Gerstenberger.
The new hose is manufactured at the company’s plant in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and available online through major retail home improvement stores. Production launched in June 2020.
The Top 10 Elastomers for Sustainability list is available in the July/August issue of the European Rubber Journal.