Green Carbon Black from Wood Waste
Our company, Our Blue Planet is developing a technology to produce carbon black from 100% sustainable biomass sources.
You have probably never heard of carbon black, but it is one of the most widely used industrial compounds with some 18 million tonnes produced annually worldwide. It is used in the manufacture of virtually all rubber and plastic items, from tires which are the major consumer, to your laptop, your printer cartridge, cosmetics, to another million and 1 products.
The problem is that it is also one of the most polluting industries in existence because it is made from high Sulfur crude oil. Production of carbon black creates large amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx), Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter. NOx and SO2 have numerous adverse health effects and are significant contributors to acid rain, smog and haze. These pollutants are converted in the air to particulate matter that can cause severe respiratory and cardiovascular impacts, and premature death. Last year the US EPA and DOJ announced settlements with several of the largest carbon black producers. Under the settlement, the companies have agreed to install and operate state-of-the-art pollution control technologies to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants and pay civil penalties.
We are developing the technology to produce carbon black from sustainable biomass sources. This will not be a bio char or like any solid to solid material- what we are working on will eventually become a direct replacement for reinforcing carbon black material. We are aiming to achieve very significant carbon footprint savings by powering our facility from 100% renewable energy sources, siting it in close proximity to a major industrial consumer, and paying strict attention to the feedstock, material, process and delivery food chain.
For the feedstock end of things, we recently paid a visit to ATCO wood products in Fruitvale, BC and met Scott Weatherford, ATCOs CEO. He gave us a very interesting tour of the facilities and we were super impressed at the cleanliness and organization of the operation. ATCO produces some of the finest quality veneers. The wood waste derived from this process and other wood waste processes has a good potential to be converted into a value added product that can go towards supplementing traditional carbon blacks.
We will be posting some progress reports here from time to time, so please check back if you are interested.