Orion to invest EUR12.8 mn in circular carbon black project in Germany

Orion Specialty chemicals producer Orion is investing EUR12.8 million – including EUR6.4 million in funding from the German government and the European Union – to further develop and demonstrate a climate-neutral process for producing carbon black from alternative carbon sources, the company said in a statement.

The technology is designed to improve Orion’s yield and throughput in the production of carbon black using circular feedstocks and thus potentially reduce the carbon footprint of the process by a significant amount. This could accelerate the shift to a circular economy and feed the growing demand for sustainable materials in the tire industry.

Half of the EUR12.8 million Orion plans to invest in this initiative, called the “Clean Carbon Black Research and Development Project,” will be provided by the decarbonisation program of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, supported by the EU’s NextGenerationEU fund.

“We are grateful for the funding from the EU and the German government. It shows a great commitment to innovation and creating a circular economy,” Orion’s CEO Corning Painter said.

“For years, Orion has been a leading innovator in making carbon black from circular feedstocks,” Painter added. “The Clean Carbon Black Research and Development Project’s aim will be to develop ways to reduce the carbon footprint and improve the yield and throughput, potentially lowering the cost of the material. Technological breakthroughs in this increasingly important field could have significant ramifications for energy integration and the molecular recycling of tyres.”

A research facility is being built for the project at Orion’s main innovation centre at its plant in Cologne, Germany.