Program of Activities

Carbon Black World runs biennially, historically alternating between North America and Europe. Guided by an expert Advisory Board, the 2016 Smithers Rapra Carbon Black World event was two full days of programming focused on issues facing the entire industry. 

For more information about the sessions below, click the arrow to expand.

Tuesday May 24

Cutting Edge Concerns: Emergent Materials and Intelligent Tires Workshop

Enhance your conference experience at the  Cutting Edge Concerns: Emergent Materials and Intelligent Tires Workshop. 

  1. Emergent Materials

    Dr. Katrina Cornish | Professor and Researcher of The Ohio State University

    Katrina Cornish , formerly the VP of Research and Development at Yulex and now a professor and researcher at The Ohio State University, will provide attendees with in-depth insight into new materials to supplement and support sustainable efforts across the industry. From guayule to dandelions, Dr. Cornish will lead an interactive workshop on the opportunities – and challenges – that come with the bio-based materials landscape.

  2. Intelligent Tires

    Art Mayer | Smithers Rapra

    Looking into the future of finished tire products, Art Mayer  will lead participants in a discussion and exploration of some of the most promising technologies in smart tires. As a consultant to Smithers Rapra, Mr. Mayer reports on numerous aspects of the tire and rubber industries, from market-based outlooks into the future of tires and materials to the development of intelligent tires and sensor-enabled technologies. Here he will focus explicitly on the next twenty plus years of tire development, especially focusing on sensors, intelligent tires, smart tires, adaptive tires and more. Expect a robust discussion around the next five years and immediate opportunities – but also a futuristic glance at what might emerge for the tires of the future.

Wednesday May 25

The Future of Our Industries

With the autonomous vehicles on everyone’s mind, we look first to the future. Truly exploring the future of transportation, this session covers the future of vehicles, connected cars, tire concerns, materials forecasts, changing demographics and more. 

  1. Conference Registration, Breakfast and Exhibition Hours

  2. Conference Welcome and Logistics

    Conference welcome, logistics and overview of program

  3. Welcome to Fort Worth

    Betsy Price | Mayor of Fort Worth

  4. Welcome to Carbon Black World and Traction Summit

    Jim Popio | Vice President of Smithers Rapra

  5. Transportation and Vehicles in the Future

    Bruce Belzowski | Managing Director of Automotive Futures of University of Michigan

    How will transportation look in the next five years? The next fifty years? How will our great-great-great grandchildren travel? With automakers looking into autonomous vehicles, how will the auto industry adapt and drive the future. Gain compelling insight on how soon our cars will chauffeur us – and what the likely adoption looks like for a transport system of the future.

  6. Influence of Technology on the Future of Automobiles and Drivers

    Brent Gruber | Senior Director of Global Automotive of J.D. Power

    Everyone wants to know what the future of the vehicle will look like. J.D. Power has been tracking this information for years and has keen insight into what vehicle users want. This is especially critical for the rising millennials, who make up a huge portion of the future market. From autonomous vehicles to greater gas mileage, ride sharing to vehicle use, future trends have implications for what you are doing right now. 

  7. Electric and Autonomous Vehicles and Tire Needs

    Dean Tener | Business Development Manager of Smithers Rapra

    The future of driverless cars and assisted driving systems will change the importance that tires play on driving habits and on vehicles. Already electric cars are showcasing different tire needs – what does that mean for self-driving cars? What changes from our current cars to ones driven by machines? How do wheel-level dynamics change tire needs? After seeing thousands of tires for testing, this presentation will provide ideas on a future paradigm shift – including the desire for greater durability, ride and rolling resistance, and less importance for steering and subjective handling.  

  8. Networking Coffee Break

  9. What Do Tire Makers Want from Materials?

    Dr. David Benko | R & D Fellow, Materials R&D of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

    Global considerations drive tire makers to consider what materials to include in tires.  From performance to labeling requirements to CAFE standards, considerations are numerous. Gain insight from one of the world’s largest tire makers. 

  10. Transportation and Logistics Innovation for Fleets

    Ryan Berry | Vice President, of Business Development of TSD Logistics

    Transportation and logistics are critically important to the manufacturers of carbon black and tires. Focusing on innovation can help showcase ways to ensure business success. The debate about truck and rail transit also impact bulk buyers and shipper. 

  11. Carbon Black Global Outlook

    Paul Ita | Consultant of Notch Consulting

    Gain an overview of current market conditions for the carbon black industry. Expect an in-depth look into the current state of the supply and demand issues facing the industry, including a look at future prospects. This insight will cover production, utilization, markets and major trends.

  12. Networking Lunch

Innovations in Carbon Black

Research and development in carbon black continues to be a critical piece of industry survival and growth. This session highlights some of the latest materials updates, technological developments and future considerations.

  1. Greening the Carbon Black Industry

    CP Natarajan | Consultant of GANPADS

    With nations from around the world realizing the challenges of climate change, environmental issues within the industry continue to rise in importance. Curbing CO2 in the Carbon Black industry will involve higher yields and innovative solutions, such as utilizing tail gas as a fuel in the furnace process and utilizing the plasma process and shale gas as a feedstock. 

  2. Carbon Blacks to Meet Fuel Economy Standards for Commercial Tires

    Michael Jacobsson | Business and Product Development Manager of Sid Richardson Carbon and Energy

    Beyond what tire makers want, carbon black manufacturers continue to focus on research and development to improve fuel economy standards.  Hear about Sid Richardson’s efforts focused on improving fuel economy standards for commercial tires. 

  3. Rolling Resistance and New Technologies

    Jose Briones | Marketing Manager of Orion Engineered Carbons

    As silica gained traction as a material in tire production because of rolling resistance issues, Orion developed new rubber carbon blacks to increase fuel efficiency and address rolling resistance issues in sidewalls and under-tread applications. Continued innovation is called for to ensure carbon black can compete effectively with silica. 

  4. Trends in Silica Usage in Passenger Tires

    Bruce Lambillotte | VP Consulting of Smithers Rapra

    Increased use of silica in tires has consequences for the material composition and performance of passenger tires. The trends indicate a challenging future for the carbon black industry. In this presentation, gain insight into silica use in passenger tires and trends over the last few years. 

  5. Networking Break

  6. Tire Pyrolysis and Recycled Carbon Black

    Carl McAfee | Founder of McAfee Consulting

    Recycled carbon black remains one way the industry can face a sustainable future. Focusing on tire pyrolysis, independent data shows that recycled carbon black is one potential option. See the data on how recycled carbon black compares to traditional carbon black. 

  7. Bio-based Emergent Materials

    Dr. Katrina Cornish | Professor and Researcher of The Ohio State University

    New competitors to carbon black are emerging from a bio-based background. From dandelions to guayule, sustainability concerns are driving the market. Beyond bio-based alternatives, there are also bio-based carbon blacks being researched and produced. Hear a roundup of some of the most promising new bio-technologies.

  8. Roundtable on Sustainability

    With so many concerns on the environment and sustainability, join this highly respected group to discuss issues in sustainability and the carbon black industry. 

    Moderator: Ricky Magee | Director RCB of Birla Carbon

    Gordon Reynolds | Director, Americas SHE & GLobal Environmental Affairs of Cabot Corporation 

    Randy Waskul | Global Director, Health, Safety, and Environment of Birla Carbon

    C.P. Natarajan | Consultant of GANPADS

    Katrina Cornish | Professor of The Ohio State University

    Carl McAfee | Consultant of McAfee Consulting

  9. Networking Reception

Thursday May 26

Feedstock, Materials and Equipment

Feedstock, materials and equipment concerns drive much of the conversation in the carbon black industry. Deeper insight into the latest innovations and updates across all three areas enhances growth and opportunity across the industry.  

  1. Networking Breakfast

  2. Conference Welcome and Logistics

  3. Disruptive Forces in the Global Feedstock Market

    William Bussing | Director Global Raw Material Purchasing of Cabot Corporation

    From supply question to oil prices, import and export issues to indices, numerous factors influence the global feedstocks market. 

  4. Impact of Changing Oil Prices on CBFS Choices

    Vince Guercio | Petrochemical Consultant of CTC International & Bingyan Li | Professor of China Carbon Black Institute

    Recent wild fluctuations in crude oil pricing have made it difficult to get the best deal when buying carbon black feedstocks (CBFS).  The relationship between coal tar and petroleum based CBFS has been drastically reversed.  When oil prices were high, tar derived feedstocks were favored especially anthracene oil/pitch mixtures, but as crude dropped below 80 $/B, decant oil became the much cheaper raw material.  In Europe, coal tar processors now need high premiums above fuel oil prices for them to find anthracene oil CBFS sales attractive.

  5. Viewing Feedstock Costs for Total Value

    Shane Perl | Principal of The Alpen Group

    Buying and selling feedstocks can be viewed as from a total value perspective. Understanding the industry drivers can market trends can lead to understanding the total cost of ownership – ensuring success and profitability across feedstocks and materials. 

  6. Feedstocks: More than Just Yield

    François Terrade | President & Sr. Consultant of Pro2Act Management SAS

    With low feedstock costs, how do we “fix” fixed costs?  Focusing on efficiency and other cost centers, especially fixed costs, it is important to constantly evaluate feedstock strategy.  Beyond feedstocks, there are issues with environmental impact and manufacturing. One place to look is potential new plant sourcing.

  7. Feedstocks Question and Answer Period

    Bussing, Guercio, Perl, Terrade

    Moderated by Paul Ita, this roundtable will feature the four speakers focused on feedstocks to answer audience questions and delve into a deeper discussion around the current future outlook of this most important driver. 


    William Bussing, Cabot

    Vince Guercio, CTC International

    Shane Perl, The Alpen Group

    Francois Terrade, Pro2Act Management

  8. Networking Break

  9. Innovation in Equipment Manufacturing

    Greg Homoki | Managing Director of SCHMIDTSCHE SCHACK (formerly ALSTOM)

    Innovation in quench boilers, preheaters, dryers and tailgas boilers (among others) continues to enhance carbon black production for manufacturers.  Finding new ways to improve the process and improve both inputs and outputs is critical step to the health of the industry.

  10. Refractory Innovation: Materials for Higher Operating Temperatures

    Nigel Longshaw | Area Sales Manager of DSF Refractories

    To achieve higher and higher quality carbon black grades, producers continually strive to increase reactor operating temperatures or work to reduce operational costs by extending reactor life. A strategy to achieve these goals is to select refractories better suited to extreme operating conditions. This paper will discuss the likely mechanisms of refractory failure, excessive temperatures, thermal shock and silica attack. The objective of this paper will be to inform delegates why refractories fail and what they should consider when selecting refractories for the reactor lining.

  11. Carbon Black Energy Saving

    Cui Jianbo | Vice General Manager of Doright

    Heat recovery systems and steam turbine fans greatly impact energy efficiency in production of carbon black.  Recovering energy from the process can ensure great efficiency and profit – and also impact carbon emissions.

  12. Developments in 900+C Air Preheating

    Dr. Ingo Ehmann | Director Carbon Black Technology of Ekström & Son

    Recent developments, methods, and innovation making 900+C air preheating more economical are presented: Higher efficiency by lower temperature difference between incoming carbon black gas and preheated air; Lower metal temperatures leading to less creep and theoretically longer life length; and lower outgoing gas temperatures reducing the need for bag filter pre-cooling. 

  13. Networking Lunch

Health and Regulatory Concerns

Regulatory concerns continue to emerge around health and safety issues.  Finding the best way forward for the health and safety of people in the industry is critical.

  1. ICBA Overview and Current Activities

    Christina Bramante | Director, External Regulatory Affairs of Cabot Corporation

    The International Carbon Black Association works on special projects relevant to the entire industry.  Working in collaboration with companies, ICBA works to promote the industry and engage in research around common issues. Some of these include a carbon black  mortality study and a cardiac study.  

  2. Update on Carbon Black Mortality Studies

    Dr. Robert McCunney | MIT & Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    Under the auspices of the ICBA, a mortality study of carbon black workers in the USA is underway. This presentation will provide an update on the ongoing study and provide additional context for a second study underway on particle exposure and the risk of heart disease for carbon black workers. 

  3. PAH Regulations and Test Methods for Rubber Articles:

    Dr. Zachary A. Combs | Product Development Scientist of Birla Carbon

    Regulation around polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, continue to emerge and the carbon black industry. With a focus on recent regulations and tes tmethods for rubber articles, this presentation will address many of the issues facing the carbon black industry. The goal of the presentation is  to highlight the new PAH regulations for rubber articles and the issues and pitfalls we face as a CB industry.


  4. Nanomaterial Discussion and its Impact on Carbon Black Health Concerns

    Leszek Nikiel | Manager, Fort Worth Research Center of Sid Richardson

    The use of nanomaterials in manufacturing has long been hailed as a source of great benefit, while only recently have concerns emerged about potential health concerns. This update will provide attendees insight on the latest in the discussion about nanoparticles.

  5. Networking Break

Crystal Ball Wisdom

To say “the carbon black industry” glosses over the many and varied differences among us. But nonetheless, it is important that those within the industry find ways to ensure a prosperous future. Looking out into the future, what concerns do we have – and what solutions are available. 

  1. Branding for the Industry: Where is our “Got Milk?”

    Rob VanGorden | Principal of The Richards Group

    The “Got Milk?” campaign resuscitated the branding of the milk industry, entering the cultural lexicon and providing millions of dollars with of value to the industry. How can we define our industry better? Hear from experts at The Richards Group, a Dallas branding and ad agency working with clients such as Chick Fil-A, Tire Rack, Fiat, Dodge Ram and more, on the steps we take to better position our industry for the future. 

  2. Keynote: Crystal Ball Wisdom for Our Industry

    Kevin Boyle | Chief Operating Officer of Birla Carbon

    Where are our industries going? What is the future of transportation – and what happens when we get there? How can we ensure our survival in a global era of climate change conferences, world-altering trade agreements, regulatory restrictions, materials challenges and unprecedented economic tidal waves?  Hear a view from the c-suite at Birla Carbon on how we can plan for an ever-shifting, always challenging, vibrant future.

  3. Conference Closing Remarks