ATLANTA—Biotechnology company American Process Inc. and Aditya Birla Group's, U.S.-based Birla Carbon have signed a joint development agreement to study the technical and business potential of combining carbon black and nanocellulose to improve the performance and sustainability of tires.
In a March 2 statement, carbon black company Birla Carbon said initial evaluations suggested that synergies between the two companies' products 'Birla Carbon' and 'BioPlus' nanocellulose, could significantly lower the rolling resistance of tires.
The move is part of Birla Carbon's sustainability strategy to focus on enhancing technology for low rolling resistance tread materials.
According to Charles Herd, director of Birla Carbon's rubber black technology, the synergies between carbon black and nanocellulose offer "an exciting opportunity to meet the performance and environmental demands" placed on manufacturers.
"With strength equivalent to carbon fiber, nanocellulose can improve the strength, durability, and toughness of composites," explained Theodora Retsina, CEO of American Process Inc.
Also, Retsina said, nanocellulose shows "synergistic effects" with other filler materials like carbon black in improving composite performance.
API has developed a nanocellulose production process, BioPlus, for various end-uses including reinforcement of plastics and rubber.