EIT Climate-KIC has supported Black Bear, a circular economy start-up that upcycles end-of-life-tyres into high-quality carbon black. 

The Problem

End-of-life tyres are one of the most problematic waste streams the world faces. More than one billion tyres are being landfilled or burned globally every year, highly polluting the planet as they contain toxic chemicals. In the EU alone, some 3.6 million tons of tyres become waste each year.

The Solution

Black Bear upcycles end-of-life-tyres into high-quality carbon black. In doing so, they bring an innovative circular solution to two major global challenges in the tyre industry: waste streams of end-of-life-tyres and sustainable supply of raw materials in a constrained market. The project will involve the development of an industrial scale facility with an increased portfolio of carbon black grades, demonstrating to tyre manufacturers their capacity to supply vast quantities of carbon black that meet technical requirements.

The Impact

Black Bear aims to solve two problems in one go, the pollution from waste tyres and the CO2 emission related to producing carbon black, by reusing the carbon black and other raw materials (steel, rubber, etc.) in waste tyres. Through the successful delivery of the project, Black Bear aims to be able to replace 60% of the different types of carbon black used in car tyres with its circular product by the end of 2019.

EIT Climate-KIC’s Role

EIT Climate-KIC has brought together key stakeholders for the project, such as Imperial College London who is supporting the research on various applications of similar by-products, and Ecomatters (Netherlands) who will perform the Life-cycle-Analysis (LCA) of the project.

For more information visit https://blackbearcarbon.com