Scrap Rubber 2 Oil, LLC (SR2O) VersaCarbon™ Products

Versatile carbon line from SR2O Production:

SR2O offers our VersaBlack™ (a product performing similar to carbon black), that can be sized to be used by rubber and plastic manufacturers that create items such as tires, windshield wiper blades and automotive plastics; along with our VersaBlack™ Active and Active+ lines of powder activated carbon (PAC) Products that have been used for more than 90 years to purify a wide variety of food, water, and chemical products. Uses include municipal and point-of-use water treatment, catalysis and decolorization,deodorization, and contaminant reduction of chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

An estimated 6.4 pounds of a commodity grade carbon is recovered from a standard 20 pound scrap passenger tire.
Based on the design capacity of the Facility, an annual production output of approximately 19,000+ tons of carbon powder and pelletized carbon is estimated to be produced at the facility.

VersaCarbon™ is optimized to fit the regional demands of requested carbon types.  Based upon our heat and variances to the secondary kiln, SR2O has the ability to produce carbons that perform similar to carbon black, activated carbon and (thru a final tertiary process) impregnated carbon.

VersaBlack™ stems from our base carbon (VersaCarbon™) from our secondary pyrolysis kiln line.  It is a product that performs to several ASTM standards of carbon black, and is commonly used in the rubber manufacturing industry.

VersaBlack™ Active Line is our activated carbon product that is available in a 325 mesh powder activated carbon and as a spherical 1mm or 4mm pellet.  Iodine adsorption can range from 300-800+ based upon utilization of the product.

VersaBlack™ Active+ Line is an activated carbon product impregnated with specialty chemical agents.  These specialty activated carbons are available in 1mm or 4mm pellets and are enhanced for specific use.

VersaBlack™ – Non-activated carbon with similar properties to carbon black.

carbon_blackVersaBlack™ is a renewable alternative to virgin carbon black.  It is SR2O’s version of an environmentally friendly,
recycled carbon product that performs as close to virgin carbon black in commercial rubber and plastics applications. Carbon black users are faced with increasing consumer and regulatory demand for “green” products and components from renewable materials.  VersaBlack™ is a”green” renewable material for environmentally-pressured auto, industrial, and consumer manufacturers.

Traditionally, carbon black has been used as a reinforcing agent in tires. Today, because of its unique properties, the uses of carbon black have expanded to include pigmentation, ultraviolet (UV) stabilization and conductive agents in a variety of everyday and specialty high performance products, including:

Tires and Industrial Rubber Products: Carbon black is added to rubber as both a filler and as a strengthening or reinforcing agent.  For various types of tires, it is used in inner liners, carcasses, sidewalls and treads utilizing different types based on specific performance requirements. Carbon black is also used in many molded and extruded industrial rubber products, such as belts, hoses, gaskets, diaphragms, vibration isolation devices, bushings, air springs, chassis bumpers, and multiple types of pads, boots, wiper blades, fascia, conveyor wheels, and grommets.

Plastics: Carbon blacks are now widely used for conductive packaging, films, fibers, moldings, pipes and semi-conductive cable compounds in products such as refuse sacks, industrial bags, photographic containers, agriculture mulch film, stretch wrap, and thermoplastic molding applications for automotive, electrical/electronics, household appliances and blow-molded containers.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Compounds: Carbon blacks are carefully designed to transform electrical characteristics from insulating to conductive in products such as electronic packaging, safety applications, and automotive parts.

High Performance Coatings: Carbon blacks provide pigmentation, conductivity, and UV protection for a number of coating applications including automotive (primer basecoats and clear coats), marine, aerospace, decorative, wood, and industrial coatings.

Toners and Printing Inks: Carbon blacks enhance formulations and deliver broad flexibility in meeting specific color requirements.


VersaBlack™ vs virgin carbon black?

A Look at the Carbon Black Market:

First, let us take a look at the leading application for carbon black is as a reinforcing agent in the production of rubber goods, accounting for more than 90% of total carbon black consumption.

Carbon black is largely a homogenous product with many trade names. It is essentially an oil by-product used to make tires, inks, and other products. The principal economic industries responsible for the purchase of carbon black were domestic manufacturing industries, which purchased nearly 95 percent of the industry’s shipments. A 1998 ranking of purchased carbon black output found these industries responsible for carbon black usage: tires and inner tubes, which purchased approximately 50 percent of the industry’s shipments; industrial applications, which used 15 percent of the carbon black manufactured in the United States; and specialty applications, such as wiring, plastics, and coatings, which used 10 percent.

Carbon black is essentially an oil by-product used to strengthen rubber. It is made by shooting a hot mist of oil particles into a flame, a very expensive process that has limited the number of competitors in the industry. Carbon black is a general name for a variety of trade name products such as acetylene black, attrited black, channel black, flame black, furnace black, lamp black, and thermal black. Carbon black production requires large amounts of heat. In addition to its main use in tires, the powdery reinforcing agent is used to make inks and other everyday products.

In 2000, U.S. carbon black shipments were worth more than $1 billion, and carbon black sold at prices between 28 and 46 cents per pound, depending on the grade. The vast majority of carbon black produced in the United States in the late 1990s was consumed by rubber and tire manufacturing companies.

In 2010, use in tires accounted for 73% of world consumption, with other rubber goods (hoses, belts, etc.) accounting for an additional 19%; consumption for non-rubber goods (plastics, inks, paints, etc.) accounted for the remaining 8% of world consumption. While specialty carbon blacks account for only 7% of the total market in tonnage, they command a significantly higher selling price than commodity furnace black, and thus will be the focus of future research and development activities.

The price of crude oil has an overriding influence on carbon black markets by affecting such factors as the cost of carbon black, type of vehicles sold and total miles driven, and even tire design (e.g., high performance tires, super-abrasion-resistant tread stock and the “green” tire).

The growth of carbon black is closely tied to the automotive industry and the production of tires. With the global automobile industry moving to China, India and Eastern Europe, the tire industry has followed, and with it the carbon black producers. (The availability of natural rubber in Southeast Asia is also a factor in the tire industry’s investment pattern.)

Stringent environmental laws are forcing the closure of some older carbon black capacity in developed regions, so much of the future investment will be taking place in developing economies.

There is a continuing long-term trend toward concentration and consolidation among suppliers of carbon black. Petroleum companies have exited the business, and it is now dominated by chemical companies for whom carbon black is a core product. All major producers are global in the scope of their operations. The four largest producers are Cabot Corporation, Evonik Industries, Columbian Chemicals, and China Synthetic Rubber Corp.

Today, tires and rubber products represent the major end-use applications, accounting for about 90% of global carbon black market, as stated by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.  Developing economies in Asia Pacific, Middle East/Africa and Latin America emerge as the largest and the most lucrative markets in the upcoming years. Increasing level of disposable personal income in these regions is expected to generate healthy demand for automobiles and other consumer applications thereby translating into higher demand.

Asia-Pacific represents the largest market for carbon black in the world, with a strong hold of 37% share. Developed economies such as the US and Western Europe are expected to display flat demand though use of specialty blacks is likely to pick up fastest in these regions. Consumption of carbon black in tires is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 3.6% during 2001-2010. The U.S. market for carbon black is estimated at about 1.6 million metric tons.

The virgin carbon black industry is likely to come under increased pressure from governments and environmental groups, as this product is a significant greenhouse gas emitter. Demand for carbon black in paints and coatings, and inks is expected to show an increase over the next five years. Demand for non-rubber applications that mainly use specialty blacks will display significant increase. Plastic and printing inks are likely to account for significant share of specialty black demand. Another emerging application area for specialty carbon black is metallurgy. Moreover, as special blacks commands higher price than the widely used furnace blacks, they offer higher margins to suppliers. Furthermore, the demand for special blacks is not influenced by the cyclicality in the rubber and motor vehicle industries.

The report, titled “Carbon Black: A Global Strategic Business Report”, published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market overview, competitive analysis, markets trends, product overview, product introductions/innovations, and recent industry activity. The report analyzes market data and analytics in volume sales for regions such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America and Rest of World for the period 1991-2015. The study also analyzes the Carbon Black market by the following end-use segments – Tires, Rubber Products, Plastic, Inks, Paints & Coatings and Other end-uses.

If it is NOT Carbon Black, what is VersaBlack™

SR2O has created a process of pyrolizing  scrap rubber from tires, belts and hoses.  We capture all the hydrocarbon gases and recondense them into liquids, leaving behind a solid mix of carbon and steel.

When carbon exits the pyrolysis reactor, it is in the form of fine granules which can entrap small pieces of contaminants such as steel and fiberglass fragments. In order to remove the contaminants, the granules must be milled to a fine powder so that these impurities can be removed from   the carbon by separation procedures. The remaining fine powder then consists of only non-activated carbon, zinc oxide, sulfur and small amounts of other metal oxides. This enhanced product is pure enough to be used directly in rubber compounds as a rubber master batch (i.e., carbon black, zinc oxide and sulfur). This rubber master batch, plus other additives is combined with raw rubber and a plasticizer (or soft liquid, to form the rubber compound in mixing process. Later, it is formed into sheets before final forming and molding.

In order for this recovered carbon to be marketable, it must meet the same general technical specifications determined by the results of tests performed using procedures detailed by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) methods that are standard with suppliers and users in the carbon black market.

Our VersaBlack™ provides a wide array of product qualities – each unique to the application desired. From resistance for weather stripping and commercial roofing to abrasion resistance for footwear and flex strength for conveyor belts and hoses, VersaBlack™ provides the essential properties for many everyday rubber applications beyond tire manufacturers.

Over the years, many materials have been used as fillers in rubber compounds. In this sense, filler is a diluent and is used primarily to lower volume cost. With use, all fillers modify certain physical properties of the compound in addition to lowering cost. Therefore, lower cost is generally achieved at the expense of other desirable properties and all compounds are compromises with various trade-offs considered and balanced by the compounder. Elastomer systems respond to the addition of a few fillers, termed reinforcing agents, in a way that enhances certain properties. Among such substances used in rubber compounding, VersaBlack™ is unique in its ability to significantly enhance the properties of nearly any base elastomer system.



As there is a variance for orders to use VersaBlack™ in different areas of production, SR2O will be able to provide our product for use for manufacturers to request specific grades that are available in the carbon black market:


Carcass grade black with low surface area, and does not impart good abrasion resistance. Good dimensional stability for extruded profiles, hoses, belts, brake diaphragms, and plastic piping.


Medium reinforcing. Good weather stripping extrusions, roofing, hoses, o-rings, innertubes, body mounts, and cables.


Medium reinforcing for inner tubes cable insulation, and body mounts.


Mounts, and cables.


Low reinforcing, high loading capacity, and low hysteresis. Used in hoses, molded goods and solutions.


Easy mixing, high loading, and easy extrusion black. Used in belts, hoses, molded goods, and footwear.


Activated_Carbon_powderVersaBlack™ Active- Activated carbon
available in Powder and Pellets.

VersaBlack™ Active is a renewable virgin activated carbon.  Activated carbon is a porous material containing carbon, which has highly advanced pore texture and is an excellent adsorbent, per gram of activated carbon adsorption area as much as the equivalent of eight tennis courts. The adsorption of activated carbon is reached by physical adsorption force and chemical adsorption force, besides carbon which contains a little hydrogen, nitrogen oxygen and ash, the structure is accumulated by carbon form six ring content. Because of six ring carbon irregular arrange, the activated carbon has the characters of microporous volume and high surface area.

Activated carbon is constituted by various carbonaceous materials, which contains wood, sawdust, coal, coke, peat, lignin, nut shell, hard nut shell, sugar cane pulp, bone, lignite, petroleum residue and etc. The coal and coconut shell have become the most commonly employed raw material to produce activated carbon.

The usages of activated carbon: Activated carbon has high efficiency air purification function, can build comfortable and clean environment, also can care for human health, it is invisible air filters. Activated carbon uses the function of physical adsorption and chemical decomposition combined can decompose harmful gases such asmethanol, ammonia, benzene, cigarettes, lampblack etc. and all kinds of unusual smell, especially carcinogenic aromatic substances. It has strong adsorption capacity, is a common adsorbent, catalyst or catalyst carrier, and can easy fully touch with harmful gases in air. Activated carbon uses own pore adsorption to adsorb the harmful gases molecular into pore, then blow out fresh and clean air.

Activated carbon is widely used in all aspects of industrial and agricultural production, such as petrochemical industry non-alkali deodorization (refined de-mercaptan), ethylene desalination water (refined packing), catalyst carrier (platinum, palladium, rhodium and etc.), water purification and wastewater treatment, the power plant water treatment and protection in electric power industry, chemical catalyst and carrier, gas purification, solvent recovery and the decolorization and refining of oil in chemical industry, beverage, wine, MSG liquor in food industry and refining, decolorization of foodstuff, gold extraction and tail liquid recovery in gold industry, wastewater treatment, waste gas and harmful gas treatment, gas purification in environmental protection industry, and related industries cigarette filter, wood floor moisture proof, adsorbing odor, automotive gasoline evaporation of pollution control, the preparation of various impregnanting liquid and etc. Activated carbon will have a good development prospect and broad markets in the future.

Environmental applications

Carbon adsorption has numerous applications in removing pollutants from air or water streams both in the field and in industrial processes such as:

  • Spill cleanup
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Drinking water filtration
  • Air purification
  • Volatile organic compounds capture from painting, dry cleaning, gasoline dispensing operations, and other processes.

Gas purification
Filters with activated carbon are usually used in compressed air and gas purification to remove oil vapors, odors, and other hydrocarbons from the air. The most common designs use a 1 stage or 2 stage filtration principle in which activated carbon is embedded inside the filter media. Activated charcoal is also used in spacesuit Primary Life Support Systems. Activated charcoal filters are used to retain radioactive gases from a nuclear boiling water reactor turbine condenser. The air vacuumed from the condenser contains traces of radioactive gases. The large charcoal beds adsorb these gases and retains them while they rapidly decay to non-radioactive solid species. The solids are trapped in the charcoal particles, while the filtered air passes through.

Mercury scrubbing
Activated carbon, often impregnated with iodine or sulfur, is widely used to trap mercury emissions from coal-fired power stations, medical incinerators, and from natural gas at the wellhead. This carbon is a specialty product costing more than US$4.00 per kg. However, it is often not recycled.


Freedonia – US Activated Carbon Market Report

US demand to rise 11.2% annually through 2017

US demand for activated carbon, including virgin and reactivated products sold by activated carbon suppliers, is expected to grow 11.2 percent per year to almost 1.3 billion pounds in 2017, with market value reaching almost $1.8 billion.  Implementation of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) will drive most of the growth, as utilities and industrial manufacturers upgrade their coal-fired power plants to comply with the regulations.

Compliance with the EPA’s Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts (DBP) Rules, which will be fully implemented by 2015, will lead to healthy gains in water treatment applications as well. Additionally, rising motor vehicle production, increased pharmaceutical output, and improving economic conditions will drive strong growth in several smaller applications.

New EPA mandates to be main driver of demand
Implementation of the EPA’s new mercury removal standards will be the single most important factor impacting activated carbon demand through 2017.

Mercury-emitting industrial facilities such as coal-fired power plants, cement kilns, solid waste incinerators, and other plants with large industrial boilers will predominantly turn to activated carbon injection (ACI) systems to meet these requirements. With an ACI system in a large industrial facility consuming up to two million pounds of powdered activated carbon annually, the phase-in of these new rules is expected to have a powerful impact on activated carbon demand, and powdered products will expand their market share to 70 percent of total US demand in 2017. As powdered activated carbon is generally not reactivated, sales of powdered activated carbon are expected to remain high even beyond the phase-in deadline for the mercury removal standards.

Compliance with EPA regulations will also boost activated carbon demand in water treatment applications. Demand will increase by over 50 million pounds through 2017 as the EPA’s DBP Rules go into full effect. While some compliance with the DBP Rules had been achieved by 2012, the final phase-in of the Rules will continue to promote growth. The majority of activated carbon used to address DBPs will be granular activated carbon, making water treatment applications the best growth opportunity for suppliers of granular products, both virgin and reactivated.

Smaller applications to also see strong growth
Among the smaller uses for activated carbon, motor vehicle applications, including emissions canisters and cabin air filters, will benefit from rebounding US motor vehicle production. Increased pharmaceutical output will promote demand for activated carbon in pharmaceutical and medical applications. Mining applications will also register gains, as increased processing will be necessary to maximize mine output. An improving economy will promote demand for activated carbon in chemical purification and other industrial processes. Many of these smaller applications use high value specialty products, such as activated carbon fiber or cloth and carbon monoliths, boosting demand in value terms despite accounting for a small share of overall volume demand. On the other hand, activated carbon use in food and beverage processing and solvent recovery will remain stable.


Roskill –  Global Industry Market & Outlook:

Activated Carbon: Global Industry Markets and Outlook, 2013 (9th Edition)

Activated carbon markets are on the brink of an enormous change. The next four years could see world consumption almost double according to a new report from Roskill. Enough new production capacity should be in place by 2017 to meet new demand, but the potential exists for a shortfall to develop. The report quantifies Roskill’s supply and demand predictions to 2017.

A major driver of growth in the market is new mercury control legislation. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) was signed on 16 December 2011 and is designed to reduce mercury, other metal and acid gas emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. This long-anticipated rule finally became effective on 16 April 2012. The initial compliance deadline is three years after the effective date, or 16 April 2015. The power plant standard, and the cement and industrial boiler mercury control standards that will accompany it, are together expected to increase the North American market for powdered activated carbon by approximately 300,000tpy before 2017. The standard coincides with the US EPA Disinfection By-Products (DBP) Rule, which is expected to increase the US market for granular activated carbon in water treatment by at least an additional 35,000tpy by 2017.

On 19 January 2013, international negotiators also concluded a new global mercury control treaty, which will be signed in Japan in October 2013. The treaty includes commitments to undertake measures that will reduce airborne mercury emissions. Most of the steps outlined in the treaty will be taken by 2020 by the 140 UN member countries involved. As a tribute to thousands of Japanese victims of the Minamata mercury pollution tragedy of the last century, the treaty will be named the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Activated carbon injection systems are the dominant control technology to address mercury emissions in 2013. The global mercury control treaty to be signed in October 2013 is expected to prompt new mercury control legislation in other UN member countries. Demand for activated carbon is expected to increase further in response to these new rules over the following five year period, 2017 to 2022. Increasingly stringent environmental regulations in the European Union, China and India are also expected to raise demand for activated carbon to 2017. Roskill’s report segments consumption forecasts by geography and by end-use.

Activated carbon prices increased steadily during the five year period 2007 to 2012 and have never been higher. The initial increase coincided with the almost simultaneous imposition of import duties by the US government and lifting of export incentives by the Chinese government, but it was perpetuated by a number of other factors described in the report. The next five year period, 2012 to 2017, is expected to see prices rise again.

impregnatedcarbonVersaBlack™ Active+ – Impregnated Pelletized Activated Carbon

VersaBlack™ Active+
– Enhanced Pelletized Activated Carbon thru Impregnation.

An area within the carbon finishing building of the Facility has been designated for the enhancement of granulated or pelletized activated carbon.  In order to create high value, activated carbon, the carbon can be impregnated with various materials to enhance the selective adsorption of different contaminants in either gas or liquid streams.  For example, the porous activated carbon material can be impregnated with many compounds which contain chemically charged ions such as iodine, silver, potassium, or various metallic ions such as Al, Ni, Mn, Zn, Fe, Li, Ca.  These can be impregnated singularly or in combinations to improve the overall performance in removing specific contaminants. For example, due to its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, carbon impregnated with silver is used as an adsorbent for purification of domestic water.  Also, the granular or pelletized activated carbon can be used as a support matrix and impregnated with various materials that can be used as catalysts for other chemical reactions.  The catalyst material can be reclaimed by burning off the carbon and reclaiming the catalyst for reuse.  Selected examples of impregnated pelletized carbon that can be produced at the facility, and their commercial applications are listed below. In each example, the pelletized carbon can be impregnated with the Chemical Agent listed, and the resulting product will be used in the application described.

The chart describes various customized carbon products that can be produced at the Facility to fill the needs of specific customers. The incremental costs for producing the products listed above, plus other impregnated carbons, is nominal.   However, the average selling price on a per pound basis of impregnated activated carbon can be four to six times higher than plain activated carbon. The additional costs of producing impregnated carbon, and the enhanced revenue expected from impregnated carbons, has not been included in the financial projections and estimates included in this Memorandum.   As much as five to seven percent (5 to 7%) of carbon production is projected to be converted to impregnated carbon and placed in the marketplace during the first few years of operation.




VersaBlack™ Active+ Available Impregnation Agents:

Chemical agent Typical application (removal of)
Hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, mercaptans, acid gases
Fe2O3 Hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans
Cu/CrO Hydrogen cyanide and sulfur compounds
KMnO4 Hydrogen sulfide from non-oxidizing gases
KI / KI3 Hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, organic sulfides, radioactive and methyl iodide
CuO Desulfurization
H2SO4 Ammoniac and amines, mercury
H3PO4 Ammoniac
S Mercury, dioxins
Ag (metallic) Domestic water filters
Ni(N03) Catalyst