Orion invests to upgrade Alpha Carbone facility
Chemical

Orion invests to upgrade Alpha Carbone facility

The plant will supply Orion with tire pyrolysis oil to produce sustainable carbon black

  • By ICN Bureau | May 14, 2024

Orion S.A., a global specialty chemicals company, announced that it is investing in Alpha Carbone, a French tire recycling company. The partnership will enable Alpha Carbone to scale up and produce commercial volumes of tire pyrolysis oil and recovered carbon black.

The cooperation also includes a long-term supply agreement with Orion as the exclusive customer for the tire pyrolysis oil produced by Alpha Carbone. The oil will be used by Orion to manufacture circular carbon black for tire and rubber goods customers.

“This investment enables Orion to make large-scale volumes of circular grades of carbon black for our rubber customers who are seeking sustainable solutions,” Orion CEO Corning Painter said. “It further strengthens Orion’s position as an innovator focused on the future and accelerating the transition to a circular economy.”

An estimated 500,000 metric tons of tires are discarded annually in France. For years, Orion has been working closely with major tire companies to develop circular carbon black. Tire pyrolysis is the only proven technology to produce circular carbon black that can be used in new tires.

Alpha Carbone’s tire pyrolysis process takes the discarded end-of-life tires and exposes them to high temperatures, removing wire, mesh and other materials. The process also reduces the tires to synthetic gas, recovered carbon black and tire pyrolysis oil.

Orion is the only company that has made circular carbon black from 100% tire pyrolysis oil as a feedstock. The company has also demonstrated that its circular products can replace virgin carbon black in many applications.

Alpha Carbone’s plant is expected to start up in late 2025. Besides the pyrolysis oil supplied to Orion, Alpha Carbone will sell the recovered carbon black to its own customers primarily under long-term contracts.

“This investment will allow Alpha Carbone to bring its Dole, France, facility to the best industrial level in order to supply the growing demands for quality recovered carbon black and tire pyrolysis oil to our customers. This new step aligns with the strategy of Alpha Carbone’s main shareholder, Alpha Recyclage Franche Comté, to offer the best possible solution for recycling end-of-life tires,” said Laura Pech, CEO of Alpha Carbone.

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