News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 26, 2021

Cabot raising specialty black prices

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:54 am

Cabot Corporation announced today that it will increase prices on all carbon black products sold by its specialty carbons business globally, effective August 26, 2021 or as contracts allow. The amount of the increase was not disclosed. The company said in a press release that the price increases are necessitated by the significant and rapid increases in costs including raw material, transportation and logistics, and operational costs across all products and regions. Additionally, costs associated with the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) have increased substantially in recent months driving higher environmental compliance costs.

July 22, 2021

Epsilon Carbon commissions carbon black complex in India

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:34 pm

Indian coal tar derivatives producer Epsilon Carbon Private Ltd. has commissioned an integrated carbon black manufacturing complex located in Bellary, Karnataka, southern India. The $73 million plant has a production capacity of 115,000 metric tons per year and is already running close to full capacity, according to a July 7 company statement. The new facility started up in January 2021 and produces both hard and soft grades of carbon blacks for tires, non-tire rubber, and plastics. The backwardly integrated plant uses anthracene oil generated at the company’s 220,000-ton coal tar distillation facility at the same site as feedstock. The sulfur content of the captive feedstock is 0.3% to 0.5%, compared to about 3% for typical high sulfur feedstock.

Epsilon Carbon has earmarked $47 million more to expand its coal tar distillation capacity by 65,000 tons per year and carbon black production by 185,000 tons per year in the coming years. Described by the company as first-of-its-kind in India, the integrated carbon facility uses waste coke oven gas from the steel plant as a fuel, while the tail-gas from the carbon black unit is fed back to the steel complex for pre-heating operations. The new plant also incorporates scrubbers to reduce SOx/NOx and CO2 emissions.

Orion partners with RISE to produce renewable carbon black at commercial scale

Filed under: Carbon Black, Recovered Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:19 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons announced today it has partnered with RISE Research Institutes of Sweden in a project to develop and produce renewable carbon black. Under the collaboration, traditional carbon black feedstock will be replaced with pyrolysis oil from biomass oil to produce a carbon-neutral carbon black. Orion plans to test the process using its small-scale furnace reactor in Kalscheuren, Germany and will explore ways to upscale the process to match market demands. Additionally, using a pilot-scale reactor at its site in Piteå, Sweden, RISE will evaluate the use of electrofuels, such as plasma or hydrogen from electrolysis, as sustainable heat sources for the carbon black process. According to the press release, RISE has already shown that it could be economically feasible to produce carbon black using pyrolysis oil from wood-derived feedstock. Orion’s project goal is to validate commercial production based on this research.

July 11, 2021

Orion collaborates with HiQ-CARB Consortium on Li-ion battery production

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:30 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons has joined the EU-funded HiQ-CARB consortium to provide the lithium-ion battery industry with sustainable and high-performance carbon additives. The HiQ-CARB consortium represents a collaboration among seven leading European industry players, research institutes, and universities tasked with the development, design, and scale-up of innovative battery materials. Other consortium participants include leading materials producer Arkema, cell producer Customcells, Fraunhofer ISC, Aalto University in Finland, and the University of Bordeaux. The ultimate goal is one of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 in order to address climate change. Orion’s acetylene black is considered a key component of this strategy as it has the lowest carbon footprint of conductive materials on the market. Lithium-ion batteries are used for e-mobility (electrification of vehicles), renewable energy storage, in portable electronic devices, and a wide range of other applications where renewable energy supplies are critical.

According to Orion,

Orion acetylene black offers conductive functionalities that improve lithium-ion battery performance. Acetylene black aggregates form a three-dimensional network to lower the internal resistance of battery cells by enhancing conductivity, ensuring that charge and discharge processes are performed effectively and Ohmic losses are minimized. Its high intrinsic electronic conductivity and purity compared to other carbon blacks leads to significantly higher power densities and longer battery lifecycle. In addition, the acetylene black functional structure produces synergistic benefits with other additives, such as carbon nanotubes, in lithium-ion battery systems.

NPPD evaluating proposals for renewable energy for Monolith Materials

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:54 pm

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) currently is evaluating a range of proposals to provide nearly two million megawatt hours of renewable electricity to support Monolith Materials for its green hydrogen and carbon black operations in Hallam, Nebraska. The request for proposals was issued in January 2021 and resulted in bids for wind, solar and energy storage projects. NPPD plans to prioritize projects located in Nebraska. The new project is part of Monolith Materials’ proposed $1 billion expansion of its Olive Creek facility near Hallam. NPPD and Monolith previously signed a letter of intent outlining the companies’ intentions to procure enough renewable energy resources to generate two million megawatt-hours annually.

July 1, 2021

Tokai Carbon CB introduces rubber blacks for electric vehicle tires and components

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:03 pm

Tokai Carbon CB Ltd., the Fort Worth-based subsidiary of Tokyo’s Tokai Carbon, has introduced several grades of rubber blacks specifically developed for electric vehicles. The grades were developed to provide higher strength and lower hysteresis in rubber products. EV800 is designed to give maximum strength and lower hysteresis for tire sidewall applications. The greater weight of the batteries will require this increase in strength while not sacrificing the necessary hysteresis to improve overall rolling resistance. For non-tire components, EV480 is designed to provide higher strength at higher levels of reinforcement. Both carbon blacks are available immediately through Tokai Carbon CB.

Last month, Tokai Carbon CB announced it will increase carbon black prices in North America. Starting July 15 or as customer contracts allow, the company will raise its prices $150 per metric ton. Tokai said the increase allows the company to invest in its facilities and cover rising operational and raw material costs.

Orion raising rubber black prices in EMEA region

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:45 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. announced today that effective August 1, 2021, or as permitted by customer contracts, the company is increasing prices on all rubber carbon black products sold in the EMEA region. Prices for rubber carbon black will increase by an average of €110 per ton. In addition, the company’s service surcharges and payment terms shall be adjusted to reflect these higher costs. In a press release announcing the move, Orion said that the increase was necessary due to rising operating, logistics and environmental costs required to maintain service levels.

June 21, 2021

Phillips Carbon Black commissions new power plant at Mundra

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:04 am

Phillips Carbon Black Ltd., a part of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, has commissioned an eight MW power plant at its carbon black plant in Mundra, Gujarat, India.

June 18, 2021

Birla Carbon recognized for plant safety

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:14 pm

On June 14, the International Carbon Black Association (ICBA) awarded certificates of recognition to 12 Birla Carbon sites for achieving a level of safety performance above the industry average. The ICBA awarded twelve gold awards to Birla Carbon plants across North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The sites include the company’s two R&D centers in the United States and India. These sites are recognized at the Gold level for their safety efforts for the calendar year 2020. Of the 12 sites, seven sites have consistently received the Gold rating for the third consecutive year.

In a press release announcing the awards, Joe Gaynor, Chief Legal, Risk, and Sustainability Officer, Birla Carbon, said, “Despite the challenging times which were faced due to the pandemic, Birla Carbon continued to build and maintain its culture of safety, globally. All our plants maintained the highest safety standards for all employees.”

This recognition was started by the ICBA to acknowledge outstanding safety records and educate policymakers and the public about the carbon black industry’s regard for making employee safety a pre-condition for successful operations. It is a voluntary program where the participating companies submit the previous year’s safety performance data, which gets certified by the company’s members on the ICBA Board of Directors. Awards are given in three categories, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Orion Engineered Carbons launches renewable carbon black for tires

Filed under: Carbon Black, Recovered Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:49 am

Orion Engineered Carbons has announced the commercial launch of ECORAX® Nature, a new family of products developed for rubber applications utilizing industrial grade, plant-based oils, which are a renewable, non-fossil derived feedstock. ECORAX® Nature 100 is the first highly reinforcing carbon black grade made from renewable feedstocks which can be used in critical tire tread construction. The product is currently being tested by customers and will go into high volume manufacturing in the second half of 2022.

In a press release announcing the launch, Orion CEO Corning Painter said, “This launch is an important milestone in our strategy to develop commercially viable, carbon black products that drive sustainability across the value chain.

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