Most of the tires used in cars, bikes or other means of transport are either dumped or incinerated resulting in massive amounts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) into the air, which is very harmful to the valuable resources in the environment. However, Black Bear, a Dutch startup aims to curb this issue caused by the old tires.
Founded in 2010, Black Bear based in the Netherlands has developed a unique Tires to Carbon Black technology to produce the Carbon Black from used tires. The company aims to upcycle all the waste tires into valuable products.
Raised €11 million
In a recent development, Black Bear has closed a growth funding round of €11 million to refine its process and expand its rollout its technology worldwide. With this investment, the consortium investing in Black Bear include Chemelot Ventures, ING Sustainable Investments, Stitching DOEN, SCG, Social Impact Ventures and 5square.
“This new consortium means much more than just fresh capital. They are strategic partners, who will play a key role in the development of our technology and who will speed up our international roll-out”, says CEO Martijn Lopes Cardozo.
Unique carbonisation process
Black Bear has come up with a unique carbonisation process. This process will transform the old tires into recovered Carbon Black. This is an environment-friendly process. The latest investment will help the company deploy this technology on a global scale. And, will take the Dutch cleantech company closer to its aim of bringing a circular economy to tires. With the circular economy, they can transform used tires into high-quality, simple to use, safe and sustainable products. This approach solves the important waste management problem and reduces CO2 emissions.
Applications of Carbon Black
The tires are transformed into Carbon Black, which is vital for producing technical rubber goods, coatings, inks and tires. Carbon Black is found in smartphone covers, inks of pen and anything painted black. Notably, Carbon Black is conventionally produced by burning oil despite the fact that tires contain 30% of the same. Taking opportunity in this, Black Bear produces the first Cradle-to-Cradle Certified recovered Carbon Black to global customers. And, the company reduces the world’s annual oil consumption by over 215 million barrels.
Focuses on sustainability
A Black Bear plan saves more CO2 than the quantity that one million trees consume. There over 250 trees in a hectare in a 70-year-old forest. The company touts that it can save as much as CO2 as 4000 hectares of forest area can save in a year.
“It is remarkable that Black Bear is capable of making old tires into a very high-value product that can replace a polluting raw material. During the process, they also generate energy, which means the production process is highly energy-efficient,” says Mark Weustink of ING Sustainable Investments. “With its pioneering circular model, Black Bear creates durable change, and it has already won some large clients such as AkzoNobel.”
“We are highly committed to the circular economy and Black Bear is addressing a global problem, especially in significantly improving the carbon footprint of Carbon Black production,” says SCG President Cholanat Yanaranop. “As an integrated petrochemical company that focuses on creating sustainability along with innovations, we are highly interested in the success of Black Bear’s solution.”
“We believe in the huge positive environmental impact of the technology — especially since the Black Bear product can compete with virgin Carbon Black in terms of cost price and quality,” says Helmer Schukken of Social Impact Ventures. “Another reason for our investment is the great management team, which consists of not only talented engineers but also seasoned professionals in sales, finance and other functions required for global roll-out.”
“When you really think about it, it’s unbelievable that only 10 percent of our resources are currently part of circular economies,” says Mark Gitsels of 5square. “That’s why we full-heartedly support the outstanding management team of Black Bear: Their disruptive technology is an opportunity for us to help make the world that bit better and at the same time yield attractive returns.”
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