Global market potential for recycled carbon black
The value of the market for carbon black is huge, and as a material approved for use in rubber products by companies such as Volvo cars, Enviro’s recycled carbon black can find customers in many different industries. Vibration damping, shock and collision protection, gaskets, seals and rubber sheet are examples of products where Enviro’s recycled material can replace new product.
“From an overall perspective, recycled carbon black has the potential to replace newly produced carbon black in the majority of these products. We’re seeking acceptance in more markets and we see a great potential in products made from natural rubber and synthetic rubber compounds such as EPDM,” says Fredrik Olofsson, head of sales at Enviro.
Carbon black is used mainly in rubber products as a reinforcing filler; it can constitute up to one third of the content of a rubber compound and it governs such characteristics as tensile strength and wear resistance. The production of recycled carbon black is estimated to have a carbon footprint that is around 60 per cent lower.
“Our material has undergone a large number of test processes in different product types, all with positive results. In addition to the major environmental benefits, our material maintains a consistently high quality with properties that are proven to work equally well as virgin carbon black in many types of applications and compounds. Demand for recycled carbon black is also driving demand for Enviro’s recycling plants.”
Gaining the approval of Volvo and the automotive industry was a major milestone for Enviro. The company is now applying the same strategy of in-depth testing processes in other industries to demonstrate the benefits of recycled carbon black. The strategy involves approaching the industrial market with many custom applications, and also industries with many standard products where Enviro assesses that their recycled carbon black will work very well.
“In the industrial market, we’re currently focusing on the construction, mining and HVAC industries. We deliver gaskets through Anva Polytech to Alvenius, a company that makes complete steel pipe systems as part of the infrastructure in industries, mining companies and water and sewerage systems throughout the world. As a reference customer, Alvenius is a compelling example of how well our recycled carbon black works in the highest quality industrial products.”
With its own production plant in Åsensbruk, Enviro has the capacity to increase production and develop more applications for recycled carbon black.
“We definitely have the capacity for new customers, and considering that the annual global market for carbon black is anticipated to exceed USD 25 billion by 2020, we see great potential for our material. Every time a new customer sees the quality and environmental benefits, we get one step closer to closed cycle rubber production,” says Fredrik Olofsson.