HOUSTON—Orion S.A. is investing $13.7 million to "accelerate the shift to a circular economy."
With support from the German government and European Union, Orion's "Clean Carbon Black Research and Development Project" is designed to improve Orion's yield and throughput of carbon black through a "climate-neutral process" using alternative carbon sources, according to a Sept. 12 news release.
Orion said the project could potentially reduce the carbon footprint of the carbon black development process by a "significant amount."
"This could accelerate the shift to a circular economy and feed the growing demand for sustainable materials in the tire industry," the company said in a statement.
The investment—which includes about $6.9 million in funding from the decarbonization program of Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, supported by the EU's NextGenerationEU fund—will involve the build of a research facility at its main innovation center in Cologne, Germany, to support the project.
"For years, Orion has been a leading innovator in making carbon black from circular feedstocks," CEO Corning Painter said. "… Technological breakthroughs in this increasingly important field could have significant ramifications for energy integration and the molecular recycling of tires."