Houston, TX – Orion Engineered Carbons reports it has reached a major sustainability milestone, becoming the first to achieve International Sustainability and Carbon Certifications (ISCC Plus) for multiple carbon black grades made from different feedstocks at plants in two regions of the world.
The ISCC PLUS certification involved rigorous audits of Orion’s plants and processes that confirmed the company’s compliance with high sustainability requirements. It also verified the transparency and traceability of sustainable raw materials in the company’s value chain at three plants producing the concerned grades of carbon black.
“The globally recognized certification further strengthens Orion’s position as the leader in our industry for developing sustainable solutions for our tire, mechanical rubber goods and specialty customers,” said Corning Painter, Orion’s CEO. “Earning the certification is a major achievement for the commercialization of our portfolio of sustainable products. ISCC PLUS documents to our customers that Orion continues to make progress with innovation focused on sustainability.”
The ISCC PLUS certified products include the ECORAX® Circular grades produced in Borger, Texas, and Belpre, Ohio, using pyrolysis oils from end-of-life tires. Also covered is ECORAX® Nature 200, produced in Jaslo, Poland, and based on bio-circular feedstocks.
Significantly, the certified products are similar to conventional grades and are “drop-ins” that require minimal reformulation in the complex rubber compounds used by our major tire manufacturing customers.
“No other company is making multiple grades of sustainable carbon black with different feedstocks at multiple plants across the world,” Painter added. “Introducing a broad range of products that can be used in highly demanding tire applications using such materials is a critical step to enable the transition to a circular economy for tires.”
A decade ago, Orion was the first major producer to develop and commercialize carbon black made from renewable feedstocks, such as industrial-grade vegetable oils or other oils derived from waste and residues of biological origin from agriculture or forestry.
Orion is also the only carbon black producer in the BlackCycle initiative, an EU-funded project focused on developing the production of circular carbon black.
“Our customers have shown a tremendous amount of interest in our sustainable products,” said Pedro Riveros, senior vice president for global rubber carbon black and general manager for the Americas. “Several companies have made very public statements about achieving fully sustainable raw materials by 2050, or earlier. Since rubber and carbon black are the largest raw materials in rubber compounds, replacing conventional carbon blacks with our sustainable products will largely contribute to the achievement of these commitments.”
Carbon black makes up about 30% of a typical tire by weight. The material reinforces tires, making treads more resistant to tearing, cutting, abrasion and other wear. Carbon black also plays an important role in creating tires with lower rolling resistance, which leads to increased fuel efficiency. It also enables engineers to fine tune performance and protects tires from the damaging effects of UV light.
The ISCC PLUS certification is granted by the ISCC Association, which is based in Cologne, Germany, and promotes the sustainable production of biomass, circular and bio-based materials and renewables.