Black bear carbon, The green solution for old tires

The challenge

More than 1.5 billion polluting end-of-life tires enter the global waste stream every year, creating around 13.5 million tons of waste. More than half of these tires are burned or landfilled, often in parts of the world where environmental controls are poor or non-existent. What’s more, landfilled tires are a breeding ground for malaria mosquitos. At the same time, 2.4 billion tires are manufactured every year, requiring around 7.2 million tons of carbon black to be produced from fossil fuels.

The solution

Black Bear Carbonis a Dutch company that has been recycling car tires in Limburg since 2016. Instead of turning them into granules for rubber mats, which is the common destination for recycled tires, Black Bear Carbon produces high quality carbon black. Clients such as Akzo Nobel processes the carbon black into their powder paints.

Black Bear Carbon is prime example of a circular economy approach. Its business reduces an important waste management problem and massively cuts back on CO2emissions. In addition, the production of carbon black produces energy and recovers oil.

Black Bear Carbon’s Limburg factory currently processes over one million tires per year. The business model aims for a large-scale roll-out, establishing hundreds of factories worldwide in the future. A recent 11 million euro financial investment will bring this ambition closer to reality.

The impact

Black Bear Carbon contributes to the reduction of (chemical) waste, the reduction of CO2emissions and the production of green energy. In each of its factories, Black Bear Carbon saves the same amount of CO2as one million trees can store per year. Black Bear Carbon produces 1,6 MWe energy and one ton of oil for each ton of carbon black it recycles.

 EIT Climate-KIC’s role

With support of EIT Climate-KIC and in close cooperation with TU Delft, Black Bear Carbon works to improve the quality of the carbon black and oil that it produces.

 
Location
Nederland
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