News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 30, 2009

Concarb Settles Ponca City Suit

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 9:26 am

NewsOK, the website of the Oklahoman newspaper, is reporting that American Indians owning land and homes around Continental Carbon’s Ponca City, Oklahoma carbon black plant have settled their lawsuit against the plant’s owners for $10.5 million. The suit alleged that the plant was emitting carbon black dust into the surrounding area. The settlement with Continental Carbon Co., a holding company, and its Taiwanese parent company, China Synthetic Rubber Corp., will benefit the Ponca Tribe and about 1,800 other land owners in the area. Attorneys will receive 40% of the settlement plus more than $1.6 million for expenses.

According to the website, about 10,000 other property owners settled a separate lawsuit against Continental Carbon Co. for $800,000. Their attorneys will get 30 percent of the settlement.

Both of these settlements were approved by a federal judge in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. The settlements are not an admission of liability on the part of the plant owners, who alleged in court papers that a ConocoPhillips oil refinery is responsible for the black dust in the area.

July 29, 2009

Phillips Reports Quarterly Results

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:14 am

Phillips Carbon Black Ltd. has announced its results for the quarter ended June 30, 2009. Total net sales of Rs.291.45 crore for the quarter compared to Rs.299.48 crore for the quarter ended on June 30, 2008. Net profit for the period was Rs.20.48 crore for the quarter ended on June 30, 2009 compared to Rs.22.90 crore for the same quarter last year. Though down compared to the same quarter last year, PCBL’s net sales increased 17% compared with the quarter ended March 31, 2009, when the company reported total net sales of Rs.241.45 crore.

Revenue in the Carbon Black segment totaled Rs.282.0 crore for the most recent quarter, compared to Rs.301.45 crore for the same quarter last year. Revenue in the Carbon Black segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 totaled Rs.237.20 crore.

Results are here.

July 27, 2009

Newspaper Foresees Carbon Black Shortage in India

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 6:11 am

On Friday, July 24, the website of the New Indian Express newspaper reported that the “tyre and tread rubber manufacturing units in the country [India] are heading for a severe crisis, as carbon black, a critical raw material for production, is in short supply.”

The article asserts that recent actions by India’s Commerce Ministry to add anti-dumping duties to carbon black have led to a shortage of carbon black in the Indian market.

The crisis is borne out of a notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce (No 81(RE-2008- )/2004-2009), dated January 16, 2009 and amendment thereon, restricting import of carbon black if its landed cost value is less than Rs 80 per kg, while the current Indian price of the same product is well below the suggested price. In addition to this, the Director General of Anti Dumping and Allied Duties, Ministry of Commerce, by its preliminary findings dated May 25, 2009 has imposed anti-dumping duty on carbon black imported from Australia, China PR, Russia and Thailand, at the rate of an approximate Rs 6,000/tonne.

Contrary to the claims of the article, the Indian carbon black industry has more than enough capacity to meet the country’s domestic demand and in fact is a net exporter of carbon black. Further, the industry is in the midst of a major expansion program, with new plants recently completed, under construction, or planned by Himadri, Phillips Carbon Black, Hi-Tech Carbon, and Continental Carbon India.

July 22, 2009

Microcrystalline Cellulose as a Silica Replacement in Tires

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Silica — Notch @ 3:15 pm

The blog Science Codex has an interesting article on the use of microcrystalline cellulose as a reinforcing filler in tires, potentially replacing silica and/or carbon black. A new study by wood science researchers at Oregon State University suggests that the use of microcrystalline cellulose – a product that can be made easily from almost any type of plant fibers – may decrease the energy required to produce the tire, reduce costs, and better resist heat buildup. According to the researchers, early tests indicate that such products would have comparable traction on cold or wet pavement, be just as strong, and provide even higher fuel efficiency than traditional tires in hot weather. Cellulose fiber has been used for some time as reinforcement in some types of rubber and automotive products, such as belts, hoses and insulation – but never in tires, where carbon black and silica are preferred.

In the search for new types of reinforcing fillers that are inexpensive, easily available, light and renewable, OSU experts turned to microcrystalline cellulose – a micrometer-sized type of crystalline cellulose with an extremely well-organized structure. It is produced in a low-cost process of acid hydrolysis using nature’s most abundant and sustainable natural polymer – cellulose – that comprises about 40-50 percent of wood.

In this study, OSU researchers replaced up to about 12 percent of the silica used in conventional tire manufacture. This decreased the amount of energy needed to compound the rubber composite, improved the heat resistance of the product, and retained tensile strength.

Traction is always a key issue with tire performance, and the study showed that the traction of the new product was comparable to existing rubber tire technology in a wet, rainy environment. However, at high temperatures such as in summer, the partial replacement of silica decreased the rolling resistance of the product, which would improve fuel efficiency of rubber tires made with the new approach.

July 19, 2009

Tire Recycler Holds Tour for Economic Team

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling — Notch @ 10:33 pm

McKinstry Reklaim Technologies Inc,, an Oregon tire recycler that began operations last fall, hosted a tour of state officials earlier this week. Members of the state Economic Revitalization Team toured the Port of Morrow, including the recycling. plant.

An article on the tour that appeared on the East Oregonian blog contained the following statistics for the plant:

Dan Kapral, director of advanced technology and manufacturing for Harris Group Inc. of Portland, led the plant’s design and construction. With the one processing unit it has, McKinstry Reklaim can process 105 auto tires every hour. The plant operates around the clock, so it recycles more than 2,600 tires daily.

Kapral said the company plans to add five more processing units.

Bill Langley, plant operations manager, said the recycling process produces about 8 pounds of carbon black per tire, or 21,000 pounds per day.

According to the article, the plant also produces 360 pounds of scrap steel per day, and 3,400 gallons of condensed oil, which is similar to a No. 4 diesel oil. Oil that is not condensed is burned for fuel. After the plant is expanded to include all six processors, Langley said, it will produce 60 percent of its own power.

July 5, 2009

Carbon Black Producers Submit REACH Dossier Ahead of Schedule

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:51 pm

A consortium of carbon black producers reports that it has successfully submitted the REACH dossier for carbon black to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. The consortium’s full statement is below. More information on the consortium can be found at its website.

Successful registration / Carbon Black Producers REACH Important

Leverkusen – A consortium formed by EVONIK Degussa GmbH, Cabot Corporation, Columbian Chemicals Company, Timcal Belgium S.A.,
Sid Richardson Carbon & Energy Company, Continental Carbon Company, and Cancarb Limited has successfully submitted the REACH dossier for carbon black to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. After validating the completeness of the dossier, ECHA issued the registration number for carbon black to Evonik Degussa GmbH which acted as lead registrant on behalf of the consortium. The submission included both the technical dossier and the chemical safety report.

Once the remaining consortium members file their supplementary registration documents, all seven companies will be fully registered well ahead of the November 2010 deadline. The consortium invites other interested companies to participate in the joint submission of the Carbon Black Consortium by way of a letter of access. For more information, please contact the Consortium at:


Patrick Wellmann
Telefon +49 214-20658-290
Telefax +49 214-20658-200

July 1, 2009

Huber Completes Construction of Chinese Silica Plant

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 11:02 pm

According to Industrial Minerals (subscription required), Huber Engineered Materials has completed construction of its new precipitated silica plant in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. The plant has a capacity of 40,000 tonnes/year and produces dental grades. Construction began in October 2008, and the first test batch of silica was produced in May 2009.

In March 2009, Huber issued a press release indicating that it was nearing completion on the project and expected to begin production in June.

Former UK Carbon Black Plant to Become Recycling Facility

Filed under: Carbon Black, General — Notch @ 10:55 am

According the website This is Bristol, there are plans to turn the former Sevalco carbon black plant in Avonmouth, UK into a recycling complex. Viridor, one of Britain’s biggest waste management companies, wants to use the site for a £180-million complex that would include an incinerator for burning waste to produce electricity. According to the article, details of the plan come just a week after it was revealed that a £40m deal has been struck to build a plant in Avonmouth which will reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill by up to 80 per cent.

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