Sustainable Manufacturing for Rubber and Plastics

April 2021

Virgin carbon black is widely used across many manufacturing sectors, but is also acknowledged as an environmentally impactful material, with its fossil fuel base, high energy production and significant CO2 emissions.

Increasingly, the manufacturing sector has more desire, and faces more pressure, to improve their carbon footprint, so are looking at alternative sustainable materials. Waverly Carbon aims to support this goal by offering Recovered Carbon Black (rCB) that meets the quality standards required.

Green alternative to carbon black

Carbon black uses 500kWh/t of energy per tonne, 1.5-2kg of oil per 1kg, and produces 2.5-3 tonnes of CO2 in production. In relative contrast, rCB has near zero carbon emissions, using significantly fewer fossil fuels and energy in production.

The rubber and plastics sector knows that virgin carbon black has a huge negative impact on the environment and that rCB is a sound alternative, allowing them to participate in the circular economy. Yet challenges around usage, quality and volume have meant that uptake of rCB has been slow, which currently sits under 10 thousand tonnes in Europe.

Aside from the consistency and volume concerns, some manufacturers perhaps remain wary about its ability to replicate the specific qualities provided by virgin carbon black. Indeed, there are applications where rCB is not suitable, such as passenger tyre treads, but for a wide range of applications, where it will provide the same end results rCB grades can partially or even completely replace virgin material.

Using its access to different feedstocks, Waverly Carbon is developing different grades of rCB and will be able to tailor grades based on customer needs. These grades are suitable for a range of applications and uses for rubber and plastics manufacturers, addressing concerns that there is no degradation within the end product.

Serving as a partial substitute for High Abrasion Furnace (HAF) N300 series, partial to full substitution of Fast Extrusion Furnace (FEF) N500 series, full substitution for General Purpose Furnace (GPF) N600 series, Semi Reinforcing Furnace (SRF) N700 series, and N990 for specific applications.

Sustainable rubber & plastics manufacturing

As the first and only producer to focus solely on the creation of rCB, Waverly Carbon is using our specialist skills to create a consistent and reliable high quality rCB product. Our goal is to take the pressure off tyre recyclers keen to invest in pyrolysis as a recycling technique but put off by the cost and learning curve of entering the world of bulk chemical production.

For the rubber and plastics industries, it creates a robust supply chain where each component is focused and specialised. This enables the industry to benefit from quality rCB grades, for use across many applications, with the kind of volumes needed to stand up their operations.

For more information about Recovered Carbon Black.