News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 25, 2022

Carbon Black China 2022 conference postponed

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences — Notch @ 11:27 pm

The Carbon Black China 2022 conference, which was scheduled for April 19-22, 2022 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, has been postponed until the second half of the year due to COVID. The specific dates of the conference will be determined by conditions at that time.

Tire Tech Expo postponed from April to May 2022

Filed under: Carbon Black, Conferences, General, Tires — Notch @ 12:12 pm

Due to the current rapid escalation of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 throughout Europe, the Tire Technology Expo 2022 is being postponed by 6 weeks and will now be held on May 18-20, 2022. The location remains the same, the Deutche Messe exhibition center in Hannover, Germany.

Conference organizers said they are making the change to enable delegates, speakers, and exhibitors to enjoy the show in the early summer when many of the complications associated with Covid-19 are less impactful. “Based on everything we have seen in the last two years,” Tony Robinson, founder of the conference, said, “A lower risk of Covid-19 transmission in the warmer months is the most significant benefit of the 6 week postponement along with easier travel and hopefully no requirement for mask wearing or other restrictions.”

December 10, 2021

Goodyear/Monolith sign development agreement on carbon black

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tires — Notch @ 4:29 pm

Monolith Materials (Lincoln, NE) today announced it has signed a collaboration agreement and letter of intent (LOI) with Goodyear Tire & Rubber under which the companies will collaborate on the development and potential use of clean carbon black produced at Monolith’s expanding Olive Creek facility in Hallam, Nebraska.

“Monolith’s carbon black enables manufacturers like Goodyear to meet their sustainability goals and address customer demands for environmentally-responsible products,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and chief executive officer, Monolith, in a press release. Monolith expects to begin construction on its expanded Olive Creek facility in 2022, with completion scheduled for 2025. Once complete, Monolith’s Olive Creek facility will produce 194,000 tonnes of cleanly made carbon black annually, along with 275,000 tonnes of clean ammonia. When fully commissioned, the facility will be the largest manufacturer of carbon black in the U.S. and the first built in the country in over 50 years.

“At Goodyear, we’re committed to sustainability and making a positive impact by our choice of the materials we use,” said Chris Helsel, senior vice president, global operations and chief technology officer. “Our collaboration with Monolith is one example of how we are using sustainable materials in quality products that deliver a better future.”

December 6, 2021

Mitsubishi to spin off its petrochemical and coal-chemical units, including carbon black

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:44 pm

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings plans to carve out and divest its petrochemical and coal-chemical units by its 2023 fiscal year, according to Bloomberg. The petrochemical business had sales during the last fiscal year of $3.8 billion, about 13% of Mitsubishi’s total. It makes olefins and polyolefins. The coal business, which makes coke, carbon black, and synthetic rubber, had sales of $1.0 billion, according to C&E News. This segment includes two carbon black plants in Japan. Mitsubishi says the businesses face both limited growth potential and difficulties as Japan shifts toward carbon neutrality. Going forward, the company will focus on electronics and health care, along with businesses such as methyl methacrylate and industrial gases.The carve-out plan is the first major move from Mitsubishi’s new CEO Jean-Marc Gilson, who joined the company in April.

November 15, 2021

Cabot acquires carbon black plant in China from Tokai Carbon

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 7:35 pm

Cabot Corporation announced today that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Tokai Carbon (Tianjin) Co., Ltd from Tokai Carbon Group for $9 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. The carbon black manufacturing facility was commissioned in 2006 and is located in close proximity to Cabot’s current carbon black and specialty compounds facility in Tianjin, China. The transaction is expected to close in the second fiscal quarter of 2022.

Cabot said in a press release that the acquisition is expected to support the growth of Cabot’s Battery Materials product line, while continuing to serve existing carbon black customers. The growth of electric vehicles has led to rapid development in lithium-ion batteries. Conductive carbon black additives play a key role in battery chemistry to increase the range and cycle life of lithium-ion batteries. The site currently can produce up to 50,000 metric tons of carbon black annually and Cabot plans to invest to upgrade the capabilities to produce battery grades.

Cabot will run the plant and intends to continue to supply current customers while conducting technology upgrades. The upgrades to manufacturing and environmental equipment will enable the site to manufacture conductive carbon black for battery materials as well as other carbon black products while meeting environmental standards.

November 11, 2021

Birla Carbon raising specialty black prices globally

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

Birla Carbon (Marietta, GA) has announced a global price increase for all its Specialty Blacks products effective December 1, 2021. All shipments made on or after this date are subject to the price increase. In a press release, Birla said the price increase was the result of the steady rise in raw material costs and increased costs for freight, logistics, and overall operations. The company did not disclose the amount of the increase. 

November 8, 2021

Orion converting carbon black line in the US from soft to hard grades

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:38 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons announced today that next year the company will invest to convert a reactor line at its plant in Ivanhoe, La., from manufacturing soft (or semi-reinforcing) carbon black to producing hard (or reinforcing) carbon black, commonly used in tire treads.

Orion’s CEO, Corning Painter, said in a press release, “With the continued onshoring of tire production to the U.S., the carbon black supply-demand balance is getting tighter, particularly for hard carbon black. To help support this aspect of the automotive tire supply chain, we are going to invest in converting a reactor at our Ivanhoe plant, increasing the domestic supply of hard black by about 30,000 tons per year by mid-2022. Soft black capacity will be decreased by about the same amount.”

November 2, 2021

Cabot introduces new carbon black with low PAH content

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 10:17 pm

On Oct. 27, Cabot Corporation announced the launch of VULCAN® 3-LP carbon black, a new low polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) product for rubber applications. VULCAN 3-LP carbon black is the fourth product in the Cabot LP carbon black series, providing customers with a full suite of carbon black products for the use in applications that require a controlled, very low PAH content, such as consumer rubber goods as well as food and potable water contact applications.

VULCAN 3-LP is a pelletized reinforcing carbon black that is engineered for end-use rubber products that need a higher reinforcement, strength, abrasion and tearing resistance level than semi-reinforcing carbon blacks. The full Cabot LP carbon black series, including VULCAN 3-LP carbon black, is manufactured through a special process to yield a consistent, very low level of PAH that comply with the increasing regulatory requirements and quality certifications across the globe that limit the content of PAH in certain rubber applications and the carbon black used to prepare them.

Key application uses include:

  • Consumer rubber applications, such as toys and childcare items, sporting equipment, housing items, tools, clothing and accessories
  • Rubber products intended to be taken in the mouth or with foreseeable long and repeated short-term skin contact
  • Rubber components that have direct contact with drinking water, including hoses and liners in drinking water systems and pipes and tanks
  • Rubber products that have contact with food, such as gaskets, o-rings, seals and food transportation belts

Cabot raising specialty black prices globally

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

On October 26, Cabot Corporation announced a global price increase for carbon black product sold by its specialty carbons business. The increase is effective for all shipments on or after December 1, 2021, or as contracts allow. The company said in a press release that the price increase was necessitated by the significant rise in prime raw material costs across regions.

In addition, effective for all shipments on or after November 1, 2021, or as contracts allow, Cabot will apply a surcharge on specialty carbon black products produced in Europe. This surcharge is necessary to address the unprecedented and rapid increase in natural gas costs.

On November 1, Orion Engineered Carbons announced a global price increase for its specialty blacks.

Orion raising specialty black prices globally

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 9:54 pm

On November 1, Orion Engineered Carbons announced it will raise prices for all specialty carbon black customers. The increase, which will be communicated individually, will vary depending on the product, manufacturing process and location.

“Sharply rising raw material, energy and supply chain costs have made the price adjustment necessary. It will enable us to continue to deliver reliable and sustainable solutions to our customers,” said Corning Painter, CEO of Orion Engineered Carbons.

The increased pricing will be effective for all shipments beginning December 1, 2021, or as contracts allow.

On October 26, Cabot Corporation announced a global price increase for its specialty black products.

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