Marubeni to invest in German rCB firm

Marubeni to invest in German rCB firmJapan’s Marubeni Corporation says it has concluded an agreement with RCB Nanotechnologies GmbH to acquire RCBNano shares through the underwriting of a third-party allotment for new shares. RCBNano, which is headquartered in Germany, is currently constructing a plant to produce next-generation recovered Carbon Black used in tyres. Terms were not disclosed.

There has been increasing interest within the tyre and rubber product industry in recent years in the process to produce recovered Carbon Black (rCB) from end-of-life tyres by means of pyrolysis, towards the achievement of a circular economy and increases in the sustainable materials ratio. However, due to factors including the high ash content and low reinforcement of rCB, it has to date not fully achieved sufficient standards to be used as a replacement material for virgin Carbon Black (vCB) for use in tyre and rubber products.

In collaboration with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institute, the largest non-profit research institute in the EU, RCBNano has successfully developed technology to produce rCB2.0 to a world-leading standard, achieved by removing the ash from rCB through a proprietary post-pyrolysis chemical purification process. RCBNano had previously achieved outcomes in the semi-commercial production of rCB2.0*2, and RCBNano’s rCB is 100% capable of serving as a replacement material for vCB. Using funds from the transaction, RCBNano will proceed with the construction of an initial plant, which is expected to commence stable supply of rCB2.0 to clients by the end of 2024. This plant will be the first commercial operation of an rCB chemical purification plant worldwide.

Marubeni has positioned green strategy as a basic policy in its Mid-Term Management Strategy GC2024 and aspires to be a forerunner in green business. For the tyre and rubber material business, Marubeni plans to consolidate and structure a sustainable value chain from rubber raw materials to tyre and rubber material sales. Through the transaction, it will develop related technologies, including pyrolysis recycling technologies, required to enhance the quality of the solutions it provides, particularly in Asia(Including Japan) and the Americas.