Introduction

Recovered carbon black (rCB) is carbon black recovered from end-of-life tires (ELTs) through the pyrolysis process. It is a nw product that has recently been introduced in the market in commercial quantities. Recovered carbon black offers significantly better environmental profile than virgin carbon black in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (2.5–3.0 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted per ton of virgin carbon black, which is nearly zero for rCB). Unlike virgin carbon black, production of recovered carbon black does not result in high emission of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides (SOx/NOx), or particulate matter. Carbon black plants in the U.S. are being compelled to reduce their air emissions. Recovered carbon black offers a cost-effective measure to carbon black and tire industries to improve their carbon footprints.

Global Recovered Carbon Black Market Trends

Recovered carbon black does not necessarily possess properties similar to standard carbon black in tires or rubber compounds or in a master batch.  Recovered carbon black does not follow standard carbon black performance correlations based on colloidal properties such as surface or structural parameters. Recovered carbon black is usually classified as N330 grade based on its colloidal parameters, depending on the specific application it actually performs within a range of N500 to N700. It is used as a reinforcing agent in the production of several non-tire rubber products such as conveyor belts, hoses, gaskets, seals, rubber sheets, geo-membranes, and rubber roofing. It is also used in footwear rubber to impart abrasion resistance. Growth in this application is ascribed to the expansion in the rubber industry and rise in need for eco-friendly products. Major tire and automotive OEMs are moving toward corporate sustainability. Thus, demand for recycled and recovered products is rising. This is expected to drive the recovered carbon black market during the forecast period.

Global Recovered Carbon Black Market: Segmentation

Based on application, the global recovered carbon black market can be segmented into tire, non-tire rubber, plastics, coatings, and inks. Based on region, the market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East & Africa. Europe accounted for dominant share of the global recovered carbon black market in 2018. Asia Pacific and Europe cumulatively accounted for more than 60% share of the global market in 2018. In terms of value and volume, the market in North America and Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during forecast period owing to stringent regulations imposed by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) on hazardous chemicals released from carbon black manufacturing facilities. The market in Europe is anticipated to expand in the near future due to the implementation of regulations about the environment, energy efficiency, increase in trend of circular economy and safe recycling of tires. In terms of consumption, Europe hold key share of the global market. Recovered carbon black is primarily employed in the manufacture of tires and industrial rubber goods in the region. Growth of automotive and industrial rubber industries, and sustainable production activities in North America have boosted the demand for recovered carbon black in Europe. Global tire production has been increasing by 3.3% per year since 2015. The growth rate is likely to continue till 2026. It represents an acceleration over the pace in the previous decade. Continental, Giti Tire, Hankook, Kumho, Qingdao Sentury, and Yokohama are planning to open new tire manufacturing factories using recovered carbon black in the U.S. Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Toyo plan to invest significantly in their existing plants in order to achieve sustainable production. 

Global Recovered Carbon Black Market: Key Players

Key companies operating in the global recovered carbon black market include Pyrolyx AG, Black Bear Carbon B V, Delta-Energy Group, and DRON Industries. In June 2017, Black Bear announced that its carbon black had received an official Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Bronze Certificate, which is awarded by the Netherlands’ Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA). This was the first time that any carbon black company in the market received the certification.

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