Carbon black, typically produced as a powder or pellets, is an essential additive in rubber and specialty uses, made by Orion to customer specifications. CB finds use in tires, coatings, ink, batteries, plastics and numerous other specialty, high-performance applications like high-voltage cables.
Carbon black is used to tint, colorize, reinforce, conduct electricity, increase durability and add UV protection, Orion notes in its 2021 sustainability report, released Aug. 1.
Orion has 14 manufacturing plants and several innovation centers on three continents.
"Our core purpose is delivering sustainable solutions for our customers as a leading global supplier of premium carbon black," Orion said in the report.
The tire industry is the largest consumer of carbon black, according to Orion, accounting for more than 70 percent of global demand. The additive comprises about 30 percent of a typical tire by weight.
Orion is the only company in the industry that can make carbon black with the broadest range of production processes: furnace, gas, thermal, lamp and acetylene.
The company has established partnerships to help it reach its sustainability goals through ELTs.
"We're collaborating with different companies and organizations on a variety of projects worldwide," Magri said. "One of the most exciting, impactful examples is BlackCycle, an EU-funded project led by Michelin. We're the only carbon black producer in the group, which includes seven industrial partners.
"The project is developing processes to make new tires out of end-of-life tires."
Orion has its headquarters in Luxembourg and its principal executive offices in Houston. The company has about 355 employees in the U.S. alone.
Orion saw sales revenue of $1.5 billion in 2019 and 2021; and about $1.1 billion in sales revenue in 2020, according to the company's sustainability report.
Adjusted EBITDA was $267 million in 2019, $200 million in 2020 and $268 million in 2021.
By market segment, about 39 percent of Orion's sales come from specialty carbon blacks and about 61 percent come from the sale of rubber carbon blacks, as reported in 2021.