High-tech material Carbon Black

Industrial soot, also called Carbon Black, is a black high-tech industrial material that is used worldwide. Carbon Black consists of +95% carbon and is produced using a “Furnace Process”. Heavy oil fractions which are extracted during the cracking processes in a refinery are used as raw material in this process. First, the oil fraction is sprayed into a gas flame, which allows the formation of soot in a refractory furnace.

The resulting soot particles are separated by a filter system after cooling in a heat exchanger. The very fine soot powder is then converted into a pearl-like shape (pellets) in order to reduce the volume and enable storage, transport and processing without dust. Thanks to a definable outcome process, a variety of carbon black products can be produced for a wide range of industrial applications. Around 14 million tons of carbon black are currently produced worldwide and used as an important raw material in various industries.

Carbon Black

Where is Carbon Black used?

Almost every black rubber or plastic product contains carbon black.  By far the largest customer for Carbon Black is the tire industry. Nearly 70% of the world’s production is used for the production of new tires. A further 20% are used in the production of technical rubber products (e.g. seals, molded parts, vibration dampers). The remaining 10% of carbon black produced is used as an essential raw material in plastics, toners and ink.

  • PlanetAround 14 million tons of carbon black is produced worldwide
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  • About 70% is used in the tire industry, another 20% in technical rubber products and 10% in plastics, dyes and pigments
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  • Global demand for carbon black grows by about 4.5% per year

Carbon Black

About 1.5 tons of fossil fuel raw materials and large amounts of water are used to produce 1 ton of carbon black. During the Furnace process, approximately 2.5 – 3.0 tons of CO2 emissions are released per ton of carbon black produced. As a result, the production of carbon black contributes greatly to the release of greenhouse gases and the associated problems. In order to reduce CO2 emissions and the consumption of fossil raw materials and water, processes for the efficient recovery of carbon black must be developed and established. In particular, tire waste is considered to be the most important source of carbon black in this respect.  Around 4 billion waste tires are deposited in landfills worldwide and around 1.8 billion waste tires are added each year. Considering that an average car tire contains about 3 kg of carbon black, it becomes clear what gigantic raw material stock for Carbon Black is theoretically available.

An average 10kg car tire contains
about 3kg carbon black
Around 1.8 billion waste tires are generated worldwide each year
A further 4 billion waste tires are deposited in landfills worldwide

Basic process Pyrolysis: raw material extraction

Through a thermal process under the exclusion of oxygen (pyrolysis) the used tires are processed. First, the organic compounds of the used tire are broken down. The gases produced in the process are condensed, resulting in so-called TPO (Tire Pyrolysis Oil). The oil produced is sold and used for energy production in industrial settings or further processed in refineries. At the end of the process, a carbon-containing residue remains – the so-called raw-recovered carbon black (raw rCB).

In addition to “Carbon Black”, this residual material also contains up to 25% ash, which consists of additives used in tire production. These are mainly silica compounds and zinc components.

Nanotechnology is a key to a more sustainable future

rCB extraction


RCB Nanotechnologies has tackled the problem of ash contamination with the aim of dissolving the disturbing ash content and regaining a high-quality carbon black. This results in two decisive advantages:

The recovery processat a glance

The recovery processat a glance

In order to develop a process for the recovery of the carbon black from the raw rCB, RCB Nanotechnologies has commissioned the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP to develop a solution for the separation of the ash content from the carbon black. At the same time, the removed ash content should not become waste, but should serve as a basis for the production of new products.

The method developed by Fraunhofer IBP (patent filed) is based on a wet chemical (hydrothermal) treatment of the already thermally treated raw rCB. The ash is almost completely extracted and converted into usable products. The process complies with the latest ECO guidelines and does not produce toxic waste.

The innovative process leads to
three high-quality products

1. Recovered Carbon Black

The rCB has a carbon content of +96%. It is ground to a very fine particle size of less than 10 microns, pelletized, dried and then packaged. Thus, it is delivered to customers in the same form as standard carbon black.

2. Silicon dioxide-based products

Silicon dioxide available in various forms (liquid, powdered) For example, these can be used in paints and varnishes, building materials, plastics, tires (tread) and semiconductors.

3. Zinc-based products

Powdered products for use in paints, semiconductors, pharmaceutical products, tires (vulcanization) and many other applications.

The process is being further developed and refined by Fraunhofer IBP. Further patent applications relating to the innovative process are in the works. RCB Nanotechnologies has the worldwide exclusive license to industrialize the process and market the recovered products.

RCB Nanotechnologies will…

… produce the new products very profitably in our own industrial production facilities in high volumes and distribute them worldwide

… buy raw rCB from different suppliers and refine it into high-quality products

… be a reliable partner for all customers who are looking for sustainably produced raw materials for their products

The Team

Niels Raeder
CEO & Founder RCB Nanotechnologies GmbH

Mr. Raeder is an experienced entrepreneur who founded the rCB producer Pyrolyx AG and led it as CEO for more than 10 years. Through his investment company (Raeder Capital GmbH), he and a number of strategic partners have driven the technological development of the recovered carbon black. The result and basis of the business model of RCB Nanotechnologies is the patent for the cleaning of raw rCB filed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics

Jan Diercks
Managing Director RCB Nanotechnologies GmbH

Mr. Diercks was a co-founder of Pyrolyx AG and was responsible for commercial business development and sales for more than ten years on the Executive Board (GM, Senior VP). He has a broad sales and marketing experience in the chemical industry (Bayer AG) and a robust network in the carbon black and recovered carbon black industry. Mr. Diercks is responsible for Business Development, Sales and Marketing.

Sven Eric Molzahn
Managing Director RCB Nanotechnologies GmbH

Mr. Molzahn has held various management positions for the US industrial company Honeywell for 15 years, most recently as EMEAI CFO of the Aerospace & Defense division and as General Manager of the Fine Chemicals segment. He assumes responsibility for finance and strategy as well as the development of corporate services of the Group.

Peter Arnold
COO & Partner

Mr. Arnold is a Swiss entrepreneur with a degree in mechanical / process & environmental engineering. He is partner and investor in ventures focused on the recovery of raw materials. Previously, he was founderand CEO of an international engineering group for turnkey industrial systems and plant services withseveral hundred employees. Mr. Arnold assumes responsibility for the technical operations and industrial rollout of the group.

William Spire
Partner USA

Mr. Spire has been a technology investor for more than 20 years as CEO of Heathside Ventures and is the Director of the Seraph Foundation. Using his global network, he orchestrates strategic partnerships and/or financing for (sustainable) growth companies. He will be responsible for the activities of RCB Nanotechnologies in North America.

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