News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 31, 2021

Orion begins construction on new carbon black plant in China

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:50 pm

On Monday, Orion Engineered Carbons announced that it had begun construction on its second plant in China for specialty and high-performance carbon black. Orion’s new facility in Huaibei in the eastern province of Anhui is expected to be completed late next year and to begin operating in 2023. With a targeted initial production capacity of 65-70 kilotons per year, the plant will be able to make a variety of carbon black for specialty and high-end rubber grades. The new site complements Orion’s first Chinese plant, built in 1994 in Qingdao in the eastern province of Shandong, as well as Orion’s production site in Yeosu, South Korea. An innovator in sustainability, Orion will equip the plant to convert its waste heat to steam that will be sold to the local industrial park.

August 25, 2021

Carbon Black China conference scheduled for Chengdu in April 2022

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences — Notch @ 10:49 pm

The Carbon Black China 2022 conference will be held April 19-22, 2022 at the Xingchen Hangdu International Hotel in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. This is always a well organized conference with high quality papers and great networking opportunities. Notch is a member of the conference organizing committee and will present a keynote paper. The conference was just announced, so more information will be available soon.

August 23, 2021

Carbon Black World coming to Charlotte, NC in September

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences — Notch @ 10:10 pm

The 2021 Carbon Black World Summit will be held September 13-14, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 16th biennial Carbon Black World Summit will occur as a hybrid event, bringing together the top leaders and experts in the carbon black field, with both in-person and virtual attendance. The conference will include eight sessions over the course of two days, kicking off with a Global Market Overview session focusing on the effects of COVID-19 on the industry.

Among the featured talks this year are :

  • Novel Technologies – Who are Breaking the Rules of Standard CB Process by Monolith Materials
  • Increasing Carbon Black Production and Decreasing CO2 Footprint by Schmidtsche Schack
  • Mission Possible – Reaching Net-Zero Carbon Emissions with Advanced Process Control by Tokai CB and Emerson Automation

Other speakers include Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, Birla Carbon, and Cabot Corporation. Notch Consulting will present a paper on the Year in Carbon Black. For more information about the Carbon Black World Summit conference, visit: https://www.carbonblackworld.com/

August 18, 2021

Orion raising carbon black prices in North America

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:12 pm

On Monday, Orion Engineered Carbons announced that effective September 15, 2021, or as permitted by customer contracts, the company is increasing prices on all carbon black products produced in North America. In a press release announcing the increase, Orion attributes the move to higher operating costs related to recently installed emissions control systems and associated capital investments required to maintain service levels. As a result, Orion will adjust base prices and environmental surcharges for carbon black by a total of 8 cents per pound. In addition, service charges, payment terms, and volume rebates will be adjusted to reflect higher logistics costs, capital commitments and reliability expectations.

The Orion announcement follows a series of price increase announcements in the carbon black industry over the last few months. Previously, Orion announced a price increase for rubber blacks in the EMEA region and an increase in specialty black prices, while Cabot announced price increases for specialty blacks and rubber blacks in EMEA and Birla Carbon raised prices for rubber blacks in North America and for specialty blacks.

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.

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