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Published July 22, 2010, 08:01 AM

Michelin using sunflower oil to make tires

(WDAY TV) - Sunflowers and tires don't necessarily go together, but one tire company is putting sunflower oil on the road and it could be a boost for North Dakota farmers.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Petroleum-based oils are traditionally used to make tires, but now Michelin is using a "greener" approach by using sunflower oil!

The Michelin Primacy M-X-M-4 is the first tire made with sunflower oil to hit the market. The oil helps with the compounding of the rubber which results in a shorter stopping distance.

"The interest in the sunflower oil is because of the unique performance qualities it gives us and the balance between the high performance, high temperature needs, and the low temperature winter tire needs. Sunflower oil is unique in the ability to deliver both of those."

The oil is used to make the tread. North Dakota is one of the largest producers of sunflowers.