Two companies have signed a joint development agreement in this regard last recently. While Birla Carbon
is one of the leading producers of carbon black, American Process
is a bio-refinery technology firm focused on industrial scale-up of production technologies for renewable materials, fuels and chemicals
Initial evaluations suggest synergies between Birla Carbon
and API’s BioPlus nanocellulose
products to significantly lower the rolling resistance of tyres.
Research indicates that up to 20 percent of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is impacted by the rolling resistance of tyres.
Increased commercialisation of low rolling resistance tread material is a key technology development focus area identified in Birla Carbon’s 2016 Sustainability
Over 70 percent of the world’s carbon black
is consumed by the tyre industry, with carbon black
constituting 25 percent of the tyre weight. Within the tyre industry, there are ever-increasing demands to improve rolling resistance, traction and fuel economy while maintaining tyre safety and affordability. In addition, with growing populations, economies, and mobility throughout the world, the industry must ensure that technology developments are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“Low rolling resistance has been and has become an ever increasing area of investment and technological development for tyre manufacturers in all aspects of tire technology including design, construction and materials. The synergies between carbon black
offer an exciting opportunity to meet the performance and environmental demands placed on us as a responsible manufacturing entity in a global society,” said Charles Herd, director of Birla Carbon’s rubber black technology.
Theodora Retsina, CEO of American Process
Inc, added, “In addition to its exceptional sustainability
offers tremendous performance improvements for a variety of materials applications including rubber. With strength equivalent to carbon fibre, nanocellulose
can improve the strength, durability, and toughness of composites. It also shows unique synergistic effects with other filler materials like carbon black
in improving composite performance.”
is a versatile high-strength, light-weight renewable biomaterial that Thomson Reuters named as one of the top 10 technologies that will change the world by 2025. API estimates the near-term global market size for nanocellulose
to be 3.7 million tonnes per year. To serve the market, API has developed two distinct nanocellulose
production processes, BioPlus (for various enduses including reinforcement of plastics and rubber) and BioPlus GreenBox (for brown packaging and plastics reinforcement).
While API has a pilot scale plant of capacity 500-kg per day at its Thomaston Biorefinery in Georgia (USA), Birla Carbon
has a technology centre at Marietta (USA). “This partnership has many synergies including Birla Carbon’s technical expertise, rigorous and disciplined development program, and world-class research facility in Marietta, Georgia. Our ability to offer large-scale quantities of a variety of nanocellulose
products with various particle sizes and surface chemistries also enhances the development process,” stated Kim Nelson, API’s VP of nanocellulose.
Birla Carbon’s footprint extends across 12 countries with 16 manufacturing facilities. The company provides a complete portfolio of products across ASTM grades and specialty carbon blacks to meet the specific end requirements across tyres, rubber, plastics, coatings, inks and other niche industries. The company has two technology centres at Marietta (USA) and Taloja (Maharashtra), besides well-equipped laboratories across its manufacturing units providing for continuous R&D.