News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 11, 2011

Cabot adds graphenes to product line

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 7:05 pm

On November 1, 2011, Cabot Corporation announced the addition of graphene technology to its portfolio. These emerging performance materials will be offered through an intellectual property licensing agreement with Michigan-based XG Sciences, Inc. Under the agreement, Cabot will license intellectual property rights to XG’s xGnP® graphene nanoplatelets technology, including detailed know-how regarding the manufacturing process.

According to the press release, graphenes are highly electrically and thermally conductive, mechanically strong, thin sheets of carbon atoms. They are used as performance-enhancing materials in composites to add strength, stability, electrical and thermal conductivity, and other properties at lower loading levels than traditional materials.

Although both are made from carbon atoms, graphenes, because of their unique shape and structure, provide different application opportunities from standard carbon black. For example, the thermal transfer properties of graphenes extend beyond those of carbon black, making graphenes useful for applications in plastics that are heat sensitive and require a good conductor of heat. Because the particles are flat, graphenes can also be used as a barrier layer to reduce gas transfer in packaging applications.

The long road to a settlement

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:46 pm

NPR has published an article chronicling the long legal battle between residents of Ponca City, Oklahoma and the Continental Carbon carbon black plant on the outskirts of town. Persistent complaints about emissions from the plant eventually resulted in more than $20 million in payouts, including a $10.5 million settlement in 2009.

Rhodia inaugurates new silica plant in Illinois

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 12:54 am

On Wednesday, November 9, Rhodia inaugurated its expansion of highly dispersible silica production at its Chicago Heights, Illinois site. The expansion of 16,000 tons increases Rhodia’s North American capacity by 33 percent.

“One year after commissioning our new plant in Qingdao, China, this additional increase in production capacity confirms our continued commitment to leadership in highly dispersible silica,” commented Tom Benner, president of Silica, in a company press release. “We are also in the construction phase of a similar expansion at Collonges au Mont d’Or, France that will be completed in 2012. “Combined,” he explained, “these three latest investments increase our global capacity of highly dispersible silica over 40 percent, ensuring that we are prepared now to meet long- term growth expectations associated with demand for fuel-saving tires.”

The Chicago Heights site, located south of Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1995, is one of eight Rhodia sites producing highly dispersible silica at the highest quality standard for fuel-saving tires, battery separators, and other key markets.

Press Release (PDF).

Eurotecnica to provide technology and design for new carbon black plant in Abu Dhabi

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:47 am

Eurotecnica recently announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply carbon black technology and basic design for Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Co.’s new carbon black plant and coker project in Abu Dhabi, UAE. According to Eurotecnica, the technology, which was developed in association with India-based PVTI, is energy efficient and results in high product quality. The technology has already been used at a new plant in Iran as well as another undisclosed project.

Eurotecnica will present an overview of the technology at the Carbon Black 2011 Asia Pacific Conference being held next week in Singapore.

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