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 27, 2015
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.
March 2, 2015
Birla Carbon, part of Aditya Birla Group, has announced the construction of a new 240 KTPY carbon black plant to be built in Jining, Shandong province, China. The $190 million plant, which broke ground in late February, is a joint venture between Columbian Chemicals (Jining) and China’s Jining Carbon Group. The plant is located at the Jibei High-tech Industrial Park in Jining, and construction will consist of two phases, each with 120,000 tonnes per year of capacity. Each phase will consist of six production lines using wet granulation technique. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed in mid-2016, while Phase 2 is expected to be completed two-to-three years after phase 1 (i.e., 2018 or 2019). (Note that the RubberNews article linked here has a slightly different timetable than the Birla press release, with Phase 1 due in October 2015 and Phase 2 due in December 2017 — the original dates seem more realistic.)
Columbian Chemicals, a Birla Carbon subsidiary, will provide the process technology while Jining Carbon will provide the feedstocks, including carbon black oil and anthracene oil, from an existing coal tar distillation plant at the site. Birla Carbon said the facility is contingent upon receiving final internal and regulatory approvals of the joint venture between Birla Carbon, Jining Carbon and International Finance Corp.
February 25, 2015
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 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.