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Interview with Delta-Energy Group, LLC

Ahead of Recovered Carbon Black 2021 conference, we recently spoke to expert speaker, Bob Genovese, CEO from Delta-Energy Group, LLC. 
Our exclusive interview covers a sneak peek of his presentation at the ‘CEO Keynote Panel Discussion', as well as his insights on the major rCB deman drivers and what will be next for the recovered carbon black industry.
1. You will take part of the CEO Keynote Panel Discussion on Day 1, could you please share with us a quick overview of what we will hear from you during this session? Where exactly the industry is going?

Top brand owners in the tire industry have pledged to attain 40% sustainable and recycled content in tires by 2030.  Recovered carbon black will be an important part of the sustainability solution for the tire and rubber industries.  Only recovered carbon black from tire pyrolysis provides a true circular solution for tires.  A substantial amount of capital investment will need to flow into tire pyrolysis during the next decade to underpin tire industry aspirations and meet demand.  This investment will fuel many start-up companies including some failures.  The next decade will be a dynamic time for this new industry.  Tire pyrolysis industry leaders will emerge regionally.  Technology will evolve toward continuous processing rather than batch processing for efficiency and quality control.  Similar to rPET, recovered carbon black pricing will reach parity with vCB and then attain a premium as regulatory or reputational drivers make it an essential ingredient in new tires.

2. What are the market potential and major rCB demand drivers from your point of view (as a producer’s perspective)?

Demand growth for competitively priced recovered carbon black will be very strong.   Brand owners want more sustainable content in their supply chains.  Customers and regulators will challenge the tire brand owners and automotive OEMs to deliver this.  There is not enough sustainable material to meet the pledges already announced. 

For rCB producers, technology, scale, and customer acceptance are key barriers to entry for rCB sales to the tire industry.  Tire manufacturers have an extensive testing and qualification process for new materials.  Successful recovered carbon black producers must be able to meet the quality and volume requirements of the tire industry.  Producers of rCB cannot scale a business that is based solely on serving the manufacturers of hoses, belts, and plastic.

3. What would be next for the Recovered Carbon Black industry?

The industry will go through a period of rapid growth and new entrants.  There will be business successes and failures in every region.  Alliances will be formed between rCB producers and vCB producers.  These two industries are complimentary, not competitors.  Once sufficient producers have gained a foothold and rCB adoption increases, the rCB industry will enter a phase of steady growth with some rationalization as technology and scale evolve.