Molecular Rebar Design, LLC (MRD) has been featured in a Rubber News article published December 11, 2023 by Andrew Schunk, entitled “Treating the cause: Molecular Rebar Design studies replacement for 6ppd.”
The article focuses on the EPA SBIR Phase I award that MRD received in early December, with emphasis on how the MRD team plans to tackle the 6PPD issue through tire compound design. 6PPD-quinone, 6PPD’s transformational derivative, is killing coho salmon- and possibly other species- in the Pacific Northwest, resulting in Native American tribes and fishing groups filing legal notices and a lawsuit against the world’s largest tire manufacturers, demanding an end to using 6ppd as an additive in tire manufacturing. MRD plans to develop a solution for the 6PPD/6PPD-quinone issues during its Phase I contract with the EPA.
Molecular Rebar Design will use its patent-protected Molecular Rebar carbon nanotubes to reduce ozonation-related microcrack propagation, preventing coalescence of microcracks, and thus reducing larger crack occurrence. With this additional reinforcement in a tire compound, the quantity of 6PPD used can be reduced, or 6PPD can be replaced with a less effective, but environmentally safer antiozonant- like 77PD. Treating the effects of polymer ozonation, rather than preventing the initial ozone degradation, is a unique approach that can be implemented commercially more quickly than the evaluation of a new small-molecule antiozonant- which may require exhaustive environmental testing, in addition to the rubber compound tests.
The article in full can be read here with a subscription to Rubber News.
MRD’s press release about the award of the Phase I SBIR EPA contract can be found here.