Last week, Delta-Energy Group, a tire recycling company, announced that it will build a $45 million carbon reclaiming facility at a former International Paper facility in Natchez, Mississippi. The price includes $3.75 million for a building and 30 acres of land. The company formed a subsidiary company, Delta-Energy Natchez LLC, to operate the plant. Delta is a resource recovery company that recovers materials from scrap tires, including carbon solids and hydrocarbon liquids, which can then be used by downstream customers for use in rubber compounds and in the liquids-to-chemicals industry.
February 25, 2015
February 21, 2015
There were two pieces of major news last week amongst producers of recovered carbon black.
On February 13, Pyrolyx AG (Munich, Germany) and carbon clean tech AG (Potsdam, Germany) announced plans to merge, creating the world’s largest producer of recovered carbon black (rCB) from post-consumer rubber and tires. Completion of the transaction is scheduled for end of April 2015, and the full integration of cct into Pyrolyx AG by the end of the 2nd quarter 2015.
A significant component of the transaction is that cct Stegelitz GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of cct AG, will be incorporated into Pyrolyx AG by way of a capital increase. In exchange cct AG will receive shares corresponding to a share of 16.6% of the share capital of Pyrolyx AG. Furthermore, the total value of cct Stegelitz GmbH will be compensated with an additional cash component. Through this agreement, cct founders and shareholders will remain committed to, and involved in continuing to build the combined company.
Pyrolyx AG is a Munich-based company specializing in practical and applied research in environmental technology, including a unique process that enables rCB production from commercial rubber granules from post-consumer tires. cct AG, based in Saxony-Anhalt and Potsdam, Germany, is the leading European producer of rCB, with an industrial production facility in Stegelitz near Magdeburg, serving customers since 2012.
The term sheet has been agreed upon by all cct shareholders and the Pyrolyx AG Supervisory Board.
Producers of recovered carbon black are careful to distinguish their product (rCB) from recycled carbon black produced from traditional pyrolysis, which is generally of poor quality and cannot be used in high end applications such as tires. According to suppliers, rCB is a cost-effective, sustainable alternative to traditional carbon black for a variety of plastics and rubber applications, including rubber compounds for tires.
One of the key aspects of the acquisition is the expansion of production capacities by implementation of a complimentary production facility, based on Pyrolyx-patented technology, at the site of cct’s existing 4.500 t/a capacity rCB plant. Within the next 24 months, Pyrolyx plans an investment of 10 M Euros into product development, research and international sales. In addition, an rCB and rubber laboratory at the production site in Stegelitz is planned. Upon contract closing, cct’s current CEO, Dr. Philipp Theden, will join Pyrolyx AG’s executive board. All current cct GmbH and cct AG employees will be an integral part of the newly formed Pyrolyx group.
In the second major piece of news, on February 19, Pyrolyx announced a strategic partnership with the CH2E Group in Colorado. The American CH2E Group owns the largest tire dump in the US with a volume of roughly 600,000 tons. Under the LOI for a future partnership signed on February 18, 2015, Pyrolyx will build a commercially usable Pyrolyx production plant on CH2E’s site in Hudson, Colorado. The US company will provide high-quality shredded scrap tires and the land required to build the plant. Commissioning is scheduled for 2016, after which Pyrolyx together with CH2E will have the right to build further production lines for the recovery of carbon black from end-of-life tires. By today’s standards, this will be the world’s largest plant for the production of recovered carbon black.
February 19, 2015
February 18, 2015
Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to invest $1 billion in expanding and upgrading its tire production worldwide through 2020, increasing annual production capacity 13 percent by 2017 and nearly 31 percent by 2020. The investments are part of Phase IV of Yokohama’s Grand Design 100 medium-term management plan, under which the company plans to increase sales 23 percent. Annual capacity will rise to 74 million units by 2017 and 89 million units by 2020, up from 68 million currently. The expansion project includes tire plant construction and expansion projects in the United States, Russia, Europe, and China. The US plant is currently under construction, a $300M truck tire plant West Point, Mississippi.
In January 2015, Yokohama announced that its Russian factory, LLC Yokohama R.P.Z., began production of OE passenger car tires in November 2014. In November, the subsidiary began producing “GEOLANDAR G91” tires for Nissan X-Trail SUVs made at Nissan Motor Corporation’s local facility Nissan Manufacturing Russia. In December, Yokohama began making “BluEarth E75” tires for Nissan Teana sedans made at the Nissan Manufacturing Russia plant. LLC Yokohama R.P.Z. was established in December 2008 and started production at the end of 2011, when it was Russia’s first passenger car tire plant operated by a Japanese maker. Yokohama Rubber has continuously expanded the Russia plant’s capacity, which now stands at 1.6 million tires a year.
February 14, 2015
This week at the Tire Tech Expo in Cologne, Solvay Silica introduced Efficium®, a new grade of highly dispersible silica offering higher productivity and greater flexibility in producing green passenger car and truck tire compounds. According to Solvay, the increased productivity comes from its positive impact on mixing and extrusion throughput, while the increased flexibility is due to its silanization control and reformulation opportunities without compromising on rolling resistance, wear and grip. The new grade was introduced with a presentation by Christian Léger, Global Business Director of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit. According to Solvay, Efficium®‘s wider operating window is characterized by lower Mooney viscosity, lower temperature sensitivity, better dimensional stability during extrusion and extended storage life of uncured rubber. All of these advantages result in a more versatile product for a broader range of passenger car, commercial vehicles and heavy-duty truck applications. To meet expected demand beyond current trial and testing by major tire manufacturers, Solvay is making Efficium® HDS globally available from three different production sites consistently with its business continuity management policy.
February 9, 2015
On February 1, a fire destroyed a number of warehouses adjacent to Linglong International Tire (Thailand)’s plant in Chonburi, Thailand, but parent company Shandong Linglong has reported that its factory was not damaged. The plant opened last year, and represents Shandong Linglong’s first tire capacity outside of China. Thai officials have imposed a 30-day work stoppage at the plant to allow for safety inspections, but company officials said recently they are hope to lift the restriction earlier after inspections are complete. There were no injuries or loss of life associated with the fire, which local sources said caused some $40 million of damage, including tires destroyed. The $115 million factory currently has a capacity of 2 million car and light truck tires per year.
From Tire Business comes word that Giti Tire Group will break ground on Feb. 12 on its new $560 million tire plant near Richburg, Chester County, South Carolina. The plant is being built at the Carolinas I-77 Mega Site and will eventually will span 1.8 million square feet. Giti is receiving $40 million or more in economic benefits from state, county, and local government agencies toward construction of plant in the form of grants toward purchasing the land and “job development credits.” At full capacity, the plant will employ 1,700 workers. Capacity will be 5 million car and light truck tires a year at full capacity. Construction is expected to take 22 months, putting the plant onstream in late 2016 or early 2017.
February 7, 2015
The annual Tire Technology Expo is happening next week at the Kolnmesse. This is an essential show, a full three-day conference combined with a huge trade show. Notch is presenting on Day 2 (Wednesday, February 11) during Session Four: Understanding Tire Reinforcement Materials and Behaviour. My talk is at 9:00 am and is called “Carbon black and silica in tire markets: challenges and opportunities.” It looks at major trends affecting the global carbon black and precipitated silica industries, and provides current demand and outlook for carbon black and silica. Session four lasts all day and includes papers from Evonik, Iqesil, Lanxess, PPG, Rhein Chemie, Sid Richardson, and Solvay, among others. Here is the full on-line program. See you there!
February 3, 2015
PPG Industries announced today that it will increase production capacity for precipitated silica at its Delfzijl, Netherlands manufacturing location by more than 15,000 tons per year, due in part to growing global demand for AGILON(R) performance silica products.
The expansion is expected to come online in 2016 and will help PPG meet growing demand for its silica products, including large-scale Agilon volumes tied to a new multiyear global supply agreement with a multinational tire manufacturer. PPG did not release the project cost.
According to PPG, Agilon performance silica is a high-value technology platform of chemically-modified precipitated silica that can improve the performance of products in which it is used. It can also drive manufacturing efficiencies by reducing capital, improving throughput and reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
In tires, for example, Agilon performance silica can replace traditional silica-silane in rubber compounds to improve vehicle fuel efficiency, tire traction and treadwear by as much as 5 to 10 percent. In industrial rubber applications, the technology can serve as a higher-performing substitute for conventional precipitated silica, carbon black and other fillers where the end products require significant heat dissipation, high tensile strength, improved abrasion resistance or lower compression set.
February 2, 2015
On January 28, Pirelli unveiled a new all-season replacement tire for Europe at a launch event in Sicily. The Cinturato All-Season is available in 15-, 16-, and 17-inch sizes and is designed for cars with small-to-medium engines, particularly in temperate climates and urban environments. This tire represents Pirelli’s first full foray into an all-season tire under the Pirelli name. In another first, Pirelli is offering a puncture-resistant version of the tire incorporating Pirelli’s “Seal Inside” self-sealing technology. These tires incorporate a sealant layer that plugs holes in the tread caused by foreign objects. According to Pirelli’s research, 89% of drivers in their target market said they would pay a premium for self-sealing technology.
Notch Consulting examined the market potential for self-sealing tires as well as run flat tires and tire repair kits in a report published in April 2014, Prospects for Extended Mobility Systems: Run-Flat Tires, Tire Repair Kits & Self-Sealing Tires in OEM Passenger Car Markets.