Every year, 1.5 billion tires reach the end of their life. The vast majority get dumped or incinerated, releasing massive amounts of CO2 and destroying highly valuable resources. To solve this waste tire problem, Black Bear has developed a unique carbonization process to transform used tires into recovered Carbon Black (rCB). With a second investment of DOEN Participaties and contributions of other investors, the company can refine the environmentally friendly process and start the worldwide rollout of the technology. This brings the Dutch cleantech company a crucial step closer to bringing the circular economy to tires.
Black Bear’s industrial-scale prototype plant is located in Nederweert, The Netherlands. It is capable of processing more than 1 million waste tires annually, producing 5.000 tonnes of Carbon Black, 5.000 tonnes of bio-fuel, 3.000 tonnes of steel and one megawatt hours of green electricity. The plant is operated in partnership with Kargro, one of Europe’s foremost recyclers of tires.
Carbon Black is vital for the production of tires, technical rubber goods, inks and coatings. It is found in the ink of pens, smartphone covers or in anything painted black, but, unfortunately, Carbon Black is traditionally produced by burning oil. However, tires contain about 30 per cent Carbon Black - and an opportunity. Black Bear now offers the first Cradle-to-Cradle Certified™ recovered Carbon Black to customers worldwide. One of more than 30 clients is AkzoNobel: The coatings company is one of the plant’s earliest customers and uses the raw material to make powder coatings.
DOEN Participaties is very proud to be a partner of Black Bear and help them with bringing the circular economy to tires.