Orion to Invest in Upgrade of Alpha Carbone Facility

15.05.2024 - US-headquartered specialty chemicals company Orion announced plans to invest in Alpha Carbone, a French tire recycling company. The partnership will enable Alpha Carbone to scale up its facility in Dole, France, 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 companies said. The oil will be used by Orion to manufacture circular carbon black for tire and rubber goods customers.

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.

The 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 enables Orion to make large-scale volumes of circular grades of carbon black for our rubber customers who are seeking sustainable solutions,” Corning Painter, Orion’s CEO, said.

According to Orion, it has been working closely with major tire companies to develop circular carbon black for years. Tire pyrolysis is the only proven technology to produce circular carbon black that can be used in new tires.

Orion claims to be the only company that has made circular carbon black from 100% tire pyrolysis oil as a feedstock, and that it has also demonstrated that its circular products can replace virgin carbon black in many applications.