Here’s an interesting article on Goodyear’s program to source some of its silica requirements from rice husk ash. Not sure about this sentence, though: “Silica currently make up 15 per cent of each tyre Goodyear makes.” I doubt silica content reaches 15% by weight in an ultrahigh performance tire (more likely half of that), let alone every tire Goodyear turns out.
May 21, 2015
On May 21, Pyrolyx AG (Munich, Germany) announced the signing of the notarial purchase contract for its previously announced acquisition of cct Stegelitz GmbH, with closing expected in the near future. Both companies are producers of rCB (recovered carbon black) from proprietary technology. cct Stegelitz GmbH will be fully integrated into Pyrolyx AG, which will continue to invest in cct’s production site in Stegelitz in the German region of Saxony-Anhalt.
The acquisition of cct will be financed by issuance of Pyrolyx AG convertible bonds and a cash capital increase with an issue price of EUR 103.00 per share. As part of the transaction, cct shareholders shall be issued 104,000 shares of Pyrolyx through a capital increase in kind, representing approximately 16% of the fully diluted and outstanding Pyrolyx shares at closing.
Pyrolyx AG intends to construct Pyrolyx production facilities in Stegelitz alongside the existing cct plant. Over the next 3 years, Pyrolyx AG plans to invest approximately EUR 30 million into the construction of production capacities to establish the world’s largest environmentally sustainable producer of recovered carbon black from end of life tires.
May 18, 2015
Traction 2015 is a new conference on the tire industry being presented this week (May 19-21) in Nashville. There will be two days of papers from auto companies, tiremakers, raw material suppliers, and association representatives. Notch will be presenting a paper called “The Battle for Market Share in Tire Treads: Carbon Black vs. Silica.” It looks to be a great conference so I hope to see you there.
April 27, 2015
Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) today announced the construction of a new plant for highly dispersible silica in Gunsan, South Korea. The plant is expected on-stream in 2017 and will have 80,000 tons/year of capacity. Output is intended for energy saving passenger car and truck tire compounds. The facility, which is located in the Saemangeum zone, close to Gunsan in Jeollabuk-do province, will over time replace an important part of the current capacity at Solvay’s silica site in Incheon, which is located in area designated for future residential development.
“This new production platform will be dedicated to silica innovations for Asia. Together with the Silica research facility, part of Solvay’s new R&I Center at the Ehwa University Campus in Seoul, we are well placed to speed up innovations in close cooperation with our regional customers,” said An Nuyttens, President of Solvay’s Silica GBU.
April 21, 2015
A new company called Monolith Materials (Redwood City, CA) is building a carbon black plant in Hallam, Nebraska that will use a new, patented process to produce carbon black and by-product hydrogen from natural gas. The hydrogen will be used by the Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska’s largest electric utility, to fire a new boiler at the company’s Sheldon Station plant, replacing an existing coal-fired boiler. The project is expected to break ground in 2016 and be completed in 2019.
Monolith is backed by KERN Partners, a leading energy sector private equity firm, and First Green Partners, a leading investment company focused on industrial technologies in energy, agriculture, and materials. Rob Hanson is the company’s co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer. Monolith’s leadership team also includes some big names from the carbon black world. William J. Brady, Jr. is the Executive Chairman at Monolith and a Member of the Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Brady was Executive Vice President of Cabot Corporation, where he spent 23 years. Another Cabot alum is Roscoe Taylor, who serves as Vice President of Engineering for Monolith. Mr. Taylor began his career at Cabot, where he worked in R&D developing improved production processes for carbon black, participated in the startup of new carbon black plants, and led the special blacks manufacturing team.
Here is the company’s promotional video.
March 27, 2015
Evonik Industries today announced a plan to expand its research facilities dedicated to high-performance green tires at several sites in Germany. At Wesseling, Evonik will add a pilot-scale line for precipitated silica to allow for working with innovative precipitation media. At Rheinfelden, where Evonik is building a new research center for silanes, the company is adding a NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) device, which allows for analyzing complex molecules. Evonik said that the total investment at both sites was in the “mid-single digit million Euros.” This announcement is part of a plan whereby Evonik will invest more than €4 billion in R&D over the next decade.
March 23, 2015
The Carbon Black Asia Pacific Conference 2015 will be held from November 4-6, 2015 at the Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu in Yokohama, Japan. This three-day event is one of the essential meetings of the global carbon black industry. The conference is sponsored by the Japan Carbon Black Association and chaired by Mr. Hajime Nagasaka, President of the JCBA and President/CEO of Tokai Carbon Co. Ltd. Notch Consulting is proud to be delivering one of the keynote addresses, covering global trends in carbon black supply and demand. Other keynote speakers are David Tauber of Tauber Oil and Katsuya Yamamoto of Nissan Motor, while other speakers include Tomohiro Kusano of Bridgestone, Li Bingyan of the China Carbon Black Institute, and Vince Guercio of CTC International. In addition, the program will include an array of papers related to carbon black manufacturing, markets, and applications. The Asia Pacific carbon black conference is held every other year since 1993 and was last held in Japan in 1999, when it was held in Hayama.
March 16, 2015
Notch Consulting is pleased to announce the publication of World Markets for Insoluble Sulfur 2015, an update of a report covering the global outlook for insoluble sulfur (IS), a non-blooming vulcanizing agent used in rubber components requiring a high degree of stickiness or tack, particularly radial tires, belting, and hoses. This 51-page report includes 11 tables detailing insoluble sulfur demand by region, market, and grade, as well as pricing, production capacity, expansion projects, and annual sales by company. The report is presented in PDF format and includes a separate Excel spreadsheet providing extensive supplemental data, including details on tire plant expansions worldwide. The report provides annual insoluble sulfur demand for all years from 2005 through 2014, as well as forecasts for all years from 2015 to 2020. Volume demand is broken out by major market (passenger tires, truck tires, all other tires, and non-tire rubber goods), by region (North America, European Union, China, Other Asia/Pacific, and Other Regions), and by grade (standard, high thermal stability, and high dispersability). Contact Notch Consulting at info @ notchconsulting.com for more information or to order.
March 11, 2015
Tire Business reports that Lanxess A.G. is holding talks with potential partners regarding the formation of alliances or joint ventures for its synthetic rubber business. The firm is evaluating different strategic options for its SR business, according to a company spokesperson. The restructuring is part of the company’s “Let’s Lanxess Again” initiative. This stage of the initiative will include the examination of competitive alliances to improve access to raw materials and will be executed in 2015 and 2016.
Michelin is spending $53 million through 2017 to add capacity for ultrahigh performance tires at its plant in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. The project will more than double the factory’s overall capacity, raising output to 6,900 tires per day from its current level of 3,000 units per day. The project will create 100 new jobs to bring total employment to 950 workers. The project will focus on 18-inch UHP tires for the European market. In addition to current product categories, puncture-resistant tires also would be produced, the company said in a statement. Michelin added car tire capacity to the Nyíregyháza plant in 2005. Previously the plant was dedicated to farm tire production.
In May 2014, Michelin announced that it will shut down its truck tire plant in Budapest by mid-2015, saying that the plant’s location made expansion unfeasible.