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Monday 13th May: Carbon Black Workshop - Pathways to Net Zero
Workshop presented by:

Martin von Wolfersdorff, Principal Advisor, Wolfersdorff Consulting
Peter Osborne, Business Development Manager, Levidian Nanosystems

Gay Wyn E. Quance, CEO, Solid Carbon Products
Randall B. Smith, CTO, Seerstone Development

Workshop Focus: 95% of the global carbon black production come from the furnace process. This is the most flexible process for producing a wide variety of carbon black grades with different specific surface areas and structures. The furnace process has been much improved over the last 8 decades, including, among many others, improvements to energy recovery, feedstock injection and type of the feedstock. As of 2024, all tier 1 carbon black producers have pledged for net zero by 2050 and we start to see new types of carbon blacks and carbon black blends with a lower carbon footprint in the market.

Why you should attend: This workshop explores potential pathways to net zero in three sessions. In session 1, we look at the status quo of carbon black manufacturing processes and carbon emissions. In session 2, we discuss process optimisations and alternative processes. In session 3, we sketch and discuss pathways to net zero.

Who should attend: The workshop is intended for technical and non-technical participants alike. We welcome questions and an open discussion about carbon emissions and net zero.
Workshop introduction
Session 1
Status quo
  • Overview on carbon black manufacturing processes (furnace, thermal, gas)
  • Definitions: Carbon neutral, net zero, scope 1-3 etc.
  • Furnace process CO2e emissions by feedstock, grade and post-processing
  • EU carbon black industry emissions overview
Refreshment break
Session 2
Process optimisations and alternative processes
  • Carbon black product definitions
  • Circular and renewable furnace carbon blacks
  • Recovered carbon blacks
  • Methane carbon blacks
  • Noyes carbon blacks
Session 3
Pathways to net zero
  • Sketches for pathways to net zero
  •  Open discussion
Workshop end
Registration and welcome refreshments
Smithers Welcome
Chair’s opening remarks
Session 1: Market and business outlook – a changing world
Keynote: An evolving landscape in carbon black markets: a carbon black producer’s perspective
Carbon black global outlook
The European regulatory stage is changing, how to stay ahead of the curve
Speaker Q & A session
Networking break
Session 2: Feedstocks and materials
The ever evolving world of carbon black feedstocks....with a focus on sustainable oils
PAH quantitation in carbon black
Networking lunch
Session 2 continued: Carbon black feedstocks and materials
Carbon black feedstock views with concentration on U.S. Crude Oil Refining & Decant Oil production - a look back and forward view
Vince Guercio, CTC International & Editor, CBO Monitor
Tim Bart, Carbon Management International & Editor, CBO Monitor
Session 3: Specialty carbon black and R & D focus
PCBL – The transformation journey continues
 Innovation at PCBL Ltd was a key enabler to our transformation journey and will continue to be a strategic pillar for our future growth. Various use cases will be shared illustrating that we can be a partner of choice to overcome today and tomorrow’s challenges.
Valerie Smits | Head of Global R&D, PCBL Limited
Networking break
The "CLEAN CYCLE" of packaging – setting standards in compact, clean, and efficient carbon black bagging
Sebastian Pohl, CEO, Greif-Velox Maschinenfabrik GmbH
Zachary Combs, Director for Energy Systems R&D, Birla Carbon
Join Greif-Velox and our esteemed customer on an innovative venture in carbon black bagging with VeloVac technology. Together, we've redefined standards, creating clean, efficient packaging that reduces costs, minimizes the CO2 footprint, and boosts brand reputation. In late 2021, discussions sparked a transformative 18-month engineering project. We'll share our collaborative path, from concept to solution, emphasizing the "CLEAN CYCLE" of packaging. Witness how customized paper sacks and optimized machines provide maximum product protection, enhancing overall production efficiency at lower costs. Our presentation focuses on benefits for handling powders like Battery Grade Carbon Black,
The utilization of computational simulations on acetylene black production
Jantana Maneerat, Vice president of Petrochemical Technology
Tarabordin Yurata, Scale-Up & Simulations Researcher, IRPC Public Company Limited, Thailand
Chair’s summary and end of day one
Networking drinks reception
Registration and welcome refreshments
Chair’s opening remarks
Session 4: Sustainability challenges, solutions and the path to net zero
Keynote: Continentals sustainability ambition and implications on carbon black developments
Driving enablement and abatement for sustainable growth: an evolving path to net zero
Networking refreshment break
Session 5: Lower emissions and clean carbon black - process and technology focus
Including CO2 in the Circular Material Economy as a Source for Clean Industrial
Seerstone Development LLC (Seerstone) is proposing a patented technology that will use Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Hydrogen (H2) to produce solid carbon materials. Materials circularity can apply to CO2 emissions waste streams, as well as solid material waste streams. The CO2 emitted from an ethanol facility or a steelmaking facility can be repurposed into solid carbon for use at a tire manufacturer, or for use as the precursor carbon for synthetic graphite production. In each of these cases, the solid carbon would be harvested from the emitted CO2 waste stream, thereby avoiding the new CO2 emissions released using traditional petroleum-sourced carbon manufacturing processes. Treating emitted CO2 as a raw feedstock for downstream production of solid carbon has significant impact on avoiding/reducing waste streams from traditional carbon manufacturing methods. This Seerstone innovation has important materials circularity impact. Instead of inherent CO2 emissions from industrial processes (eg steelmaking, cement, ethanol) being released to the atmosphere as a waste stream, it is treated as a material worthy of participating in the circular material economy. The benefit of repurposing CO2 can be measured in terms of net carbon intensity reduction.
Gay Wyn E. Quance, CEO, Solid Carbon Products
Randall B. Smith, CTO, Seerstone Development
Production of low-emissions carbon black from methane splitting
A transformational new process for clean carbon black
HiiROC has developed a new, proprietary process for generating affordable, zero-emission hydrogen and clean carbon black – Thermal Plasma Electrolysis (TPE). TPE will unlock production of zero-emissions virgin carbon black at scale, replacing traditionally carbon intensive processes. Our presentation will provide insight into our technology, the properties of carbon black produced and the subsequent environmental benefits.  Finally, we will share the applications for HiiROC’s carbon black, including both existing and emerging uses and the supporting research activity
Alistair Peel | Director of Strategic Operations, HiiROC
Networking lunch
TPO supplies for sCB - the race is on
The tire and carbon black industries are actively advancing circularity efforts, including focusing on the chemical recycling of end-of-life tires (ELTs). For example, the virgin Carbon Black (vCB) industry seeks sustainable production by replacing fossil Carbon Black Feedstock (CBFS) with tire-derived pyrolysis oils (TPO). Intense competition for TPO, driven by its biogenic content and legal obligations, is observed between the Carbon Black industry, the chemical industry, refineries, and oil traders. Innovative models involving the chemical industry in ELT pyrolysis companies are emerging to secure TPO as a sustainable feedstock. Despite the successful BlackCycle® project co-financed by the EU, there is a latent risk that a certain conservatism in the carbon black industry will undermine sustainable carbon black (sCB) initiatives if competitors ensure long-term TPO supplies.
Robert Weibold | Founder, Robert Weibold
Session 6: Future based solutions, production and process improvements
The skid-mounted carbon black energy-saving production line
Zirconia lining - the solution for operating temperatures above 2.100 °C
Due to the tendency to higher operation temperatures (>2000°C), which are required for faster production and for higher quality products, new refractory solutions are needed. The advantages and limits of potential alternatives will be discussed, and the most proper material based on ZrO2 will be presented.
Heike Schlosser | Technical Marketing, RHI Magnesita Sales Germany GmbH
Too Dam Hot? Or is it? Endeavouring to find the Refractory Panacea for Tread and Carcass Reactors
The presentation details the components of a refractory system both thermo-chemical and thermo-mechanical that must be observed for successful reactor campaigns including feedstock purity and the disproportionate influence of ppm contaminants.
Examples of degradant posing the Achilles heels of potentially superior materials are given.
Chris Windle | Technical Director, DSF Refractories & Minerals
Chair’s summary and close of conference

Download the full 2024 programme