As one of the most important industrial chemicals in the world, carbon black represents an $8.8 billion global market. In terms of projected growth, the demand for carbon black is forecast to rise 4.2% per year though 2011 to eleven million metric tons with the major applications in rubber, plastics, coatings, inks and toners.
As a reinforcing filler agent for rubber, the material offers functional properties including improved fracture behavior, abrasion resistance and tear strength.
The key performance indicators are:
- Consistency – samples taken from different production days show a narrow variation in composition and key properties.
- Low PAH – the samples have low PAH values (relative to standard carcass carbon blacks). This low PAH is also indicative of a low and well-controlled extract and volatile content.
- Cleanliness – the residue levels (as measured on pelletised material) are low and comparable to high quality carbon blacks.
- Processing – the pelletised material disperses effectively and does not adversely affect the compound curing characteristics.
- Performance – the material reinforces to a similar level as a low structure carcass carbon black.
PZP Carbon Black has been developed with close attention to the performance expectations of end users (our scientist has experience of this from his days at a major carbon black manufacturer). PYReco material addresses the critical issues that have held back previous (and also other currently available) offerings.
The physical appearance of PZP Carbon Black is that of a finely ground black powder which is then pelleted for easy transport. Normal carbon black has widespread uses in many industrial processes, including tyres, rubber and plastic products, printing inks and coatings. Specific uses are related to properties of specific surface area, particle size and structure, conductivity and colour. Carbon black is also in the top 50 industrial chemicals manufactured worldwide, based on annual tonnage, with a value of $7bn annually. Approximately 90% of carbon black is used in rubber applications (mostly within the motor industry), 9% as a pigment, and the remaining 1% as an essential ingredient in hundreds of diverse applications.
Normal carbon black production uses heavy oils as feedstock. The production furnace utilises a closed reactor to atomize the feedstock oil under carefully controlled conditions (primarily temperature and pressure). The process consumes circa 1.4 tonnes of oil to produce 1 tonne of carbon black. Production costs are heavily dependent on oil and gas prices, and a significant consumer of diminishing strategic resources. Carbon black production has recently been brought within the Regulations aimed at reducing emission levels, in accordance with the Kyoto Agreement.
Over the last five years, prices for all grades of carbon black have risen, driven mainly by increasing raw material costs and demand from industry and so long as the price of oil does not fall significantly, Pyreco expect carbon black prices to remain firm at their current levels, with the prospect of further price rises as global oil supply tightens and demand continues to rise (Fredonia Report Feb 2009).
PZP Carbon Black product can be used in styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), and ethylene propylene rubber (EPDM) rubber compounds. Either as a blend with other commercial carbon blacks or as a total replacement of the commercial black, depending upon the product.
PZP Carbon Black has already undergone stringent tests by a mining belt manufacturer in Sweden. Conveyor belts subsequently manufactured by the company have been made commercially available.
The tests confirm that the higher degree of refinement recently achieved means that the base refined material is entirely compatible with their requirements as a feedstock. As previously noted, the tests have substituted 100% of the original feedstock. Earlier tests had already shown the less refined material was suitable for use in a range of other applications.
To facilitate the marketing of its PZP Carbon Black, PYReco is registering a name which will indicate its provenance as a renewable resource and serve to establish brand recognition.
The PYReco’s Zerowaste Process will be producing various grades of carbon black at its Teesside plant. Those grades will be produced according to customer demand.
The availability of information relevant to PZP Carbon Black is restricted to manufacturers however, we can tell you that our PZP Carbon Black is active and has a market value similar to virgin carbon black.
Furthermore, PZP Carbon Black has been tested by an independent testing laboratory and tyre manufacturers and validated to be suitable for use in the production of tyres. PZP Carbon Black has a lower PAH value than virgin carbon black as the volatiles contained in old tyres are driven off as part of the pyrolysis process. You will appreciate however that PZP Carbon Black is ‘green’ and therefore very desirable as a marketing aid for the rubber and tyre manufacturers. PZP Carbon Black also provides the benefits to the user of considerable CO2 savings. Organisations seriously interested in PYReco’s process will be invited to meet our scientists and independent laboratories for full verification of our claims.