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ASTM International launches group to create standards for recovered carbon black (rCB)

The ASTM International Board of Directors approved the launch of a new technical committee dedicated to developing standards for the growing field of recovered carbon black (rCB). The Committee on Recovered Carbon Black (rCB) (D36) will focus on creating and updating standards in areas such as: the decomposition of scrap tires, other scrap-rubber components, sustainability, and material characterization.

Carbon black is a form of paracrystalline carbon, produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products, and features a high surface area-to-volume ratio (although lower than that of activated carbon). Carbon black is used as a reinforcing additive in rubber products—notably tires—where tensile and abrasion wear properties are critical. There is also increasing interest in using conductive carbon black additives for Li-ion batteries.

Recovering carbon black from waste tires is a more environmentally friendly option for producing the material, and a number of companies provide carbon black recovery services. One such, CCT Stegelitz GmbH, says that every full truckload of recovered carbon black (rCB) sold prevents the consumption of 68 tons of oil, avoids emissions of 57 tons of CO2, and convert 7,500 post-consumer tires into a purposeful resource in the circular economy.

The ASTM committee was formed from members of the organization’s existing Committee on Carbon Black (D24)—as well as other experts—who saw a growing and distinct portfolio of standards work related to recycling carbon-black products.

James Thomas, president of ASTM International, said, “We’re thrilled to see this committee spring forth from the vibrancy of one of our existing committees. As always, we’re honored to be chosen as the standards development organization for the world’s leading experts in yet another exciting and innovative industry.”

Anthony “Tony” Thornton, who formerly served on the organization’s board of directors, was appointed to chair the new committee. Thornton is the director of product integrity and performance at Micromeritics Instrument Corporation, a global company headquartered in Norcross, Georgia.

The committee will host its first meeting on 27 March in Brussels, Belgium, in conjunction with the annual conference of the European Tire Recycling Association (ETRA). Initial major tasks of the committee include revising and adopting several standards currently under the jurisdiction of D24.

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