Members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) convened the annual General Assembly on 23 September 2020. The event saw the approval of a members’ sustainability policy framework and the creation of a new membership category for smallholder producers of natural rubber.
Double Coin Tires engineers praised the benefits of Eastman’s Eastman Crystex Cure Pro insoluble sulphur alongside scientists from the chemicals manufacturer Eastman during a joint speech at the China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) conference on 15 September. Around 200 professionals from tyre-related enterprises gathered at the conference to discuss the latest industry technologies and market status.
Having exited US sanctions in May 2020, Nynas – which supplies oils to the tyre and rubber industries – has continued an eventful year by announcing significant ownership changes that put Bitumina in a commanding position amongst its shareholders.
The European Union has added natural rubber to its list of critical raw materials, a document that was published on 3 September 2020. Listing the main global production centres as Indonesia (31 per cent); Thailand (18 per cent); and Malaysia (16 per cent), the EU underlined that 100 per cent of European requirements are imported and that tyres and rubber components are the principal uses.
Michelin and Pirelli are leading the way on tyre and rubber sustainability, according to a recent report from Context Group. Context’s ranking assessed 11 members of the Tire Industry Project (TIP), namely Bridgestone; Continental; Cooper; Goodyear; Hankook; Kumho; Michelin; Pirelli; Sumitomo Rubber; Toyo and Yokohama.
Context analysed the sustainability content on each company’s website to see if it included communications covering some of the main issues associated with the life cycle impacts of tyres, including the four focus areas of the TIP: tyre and road wear particles, sustainable natural rubber, end-of-life tyres and environmental performance. The researchers assessed how well the companies tell their sustainability story by looking at their use of multimedia, news articles and social media.
Scandinavian Enviro Systems AB is reporting a “dramatic increase in interest” the pyrolysis oil the company extracts from end-of-life tyres. According to the company, the oil has a high bio content due to the natural rubber in tyres and is therefore “of great interest to many players in the market because it could replace fossil-based alternatives”. This, in turn, is likely to help Enviro’s sales revenues. “Based on the market response and our own calculations, we judge that the oil recovered from end-of-life tyres could contribute to a strong increase of revenues from recycling plants that use our technology,” Thomas Sörensson, CEO of Enviro, explained.
In what is purportedly an industry first, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Continental are digitally tracing the rubber supply chain from cultivation in Indonesia and further processing through to tyre production.
Global tyre construction, reinforcement, and composites technology supplier Kordsa has appointed İbrahim Özgür Yıldırım as chief operating officer for the Asia-Pacific region. Yıldırım will replace Zeki Kanadıkırık, who steps down after five years in the position, as of 1 September 2020.
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. has completed a significant upgrade of its emissions controls at its plant in Orange, Texas. As a result of these actions, the site complies with strengthened environmental standards which reduce the site’s emission permits for NOx and SO2 by 2,300 metric tons of air pollutant emissions per year.
Cabot Corporation is planning to invest US $90 million in upgrading its Ville Platte, Louisiana carbon black factory. According to various US news sources, the project will capture waste energy to create steam from an incineration process, remove impurities and generate electricity to power site operations. Cabot is expected to create 15 new jobs in addition to the existing workforce of 90 at the site as a result of the investment.
The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) has further scaled back its outlook on world production of natural rubber. As per the revised outlook, world production is expected to fall by 4.7 per cent to 13.130 million tonnes during 2020.
Birla Carbon, one of the world’s largest carbon black producers, has announced that all 16 of manufacturing facilities across the globe have received the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) certification. This makes Birla Carbon the first and only global carbon black manufacturer to achieve this certification.
The Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) foresees a shortage of skilled manpower in the rubber sector. With the objective of understanding the challenges and concerns related to absorption of workforce back into the business operations post-lockdown RSDC, is running a webinar to discuss “Demand of Skilled Workforce in the Rubber Sector Post Covid19 Lockdown” on Friday 15 May 2020.
In light of the recent developments on travel restrictions, the IRSG Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Organising Committee of the World Rubber Summit (WRS) 2020 have postponed the conference until September 2020. The new dates will be communicated in due course.
Ten years have passed since a small team with a clever idea and a vision formed Black Bear Carbon, and although the decade hasn’t been without its setbacks, the company is getting ready to roll out its process for recovering carbon black and other valuable raw materials from end of life tyres. Pending financing, a new plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands will be operational by the end of next year.