Cleveland — Orion Engineered Carbons LLC has debuted a new grade of carbon black colorant made from end-of-life tire pyrolysis oil.
The new grade uses sustainable ingredients to extend the life of many products, marketing manager Kevin Milks said Nov. 16 at AMI Plastics World Expos in Cleveland. The new material has the same dispersity, high purity level and tinting strength as standard carbon blacks.
Milks added that customer interest in sustainable materials has grown in recent years.
"Customers are learning to work better with different types of materials," he said.
Spring, Texas-based Orion Engineered Carbons also is on track to open a new carbon black plant in La Porte, Texas, in the second half of 2024. The project will increase the company's conductive additives capacity by about 26 million pounds per year.
The new plant will be the only one in the U.S. making acetylene-based conductive additives, which are used in lithium-ion batteries, high-voltage cables and other products used in electrification and renewable energy. The new plant will be backed by a long-term acetylene supply agreement from a neighboring site owned by materials giant LyondellBasell Industries.
The 2023 carbon black market is recovering from customer destocking, which has affected markets for many other plastics and chemicals.
"Destocking is still going on, but we've worked through a good portion of it," Milks said.
Orion is a leading global supplier of carbon black. The firm's products are used in plastics, tires, coatings, ink, batteries and other applications.
The company is a unit of Orion SA, which is publicly traded. Orion has 14 global production plants and posted sales of just over $2 billion in 2022.