US-based Cabot Corp. has unveiled new grades of black masterbatch with up to 100% attributed recycled content.
The three new grades - Replasblak rePE5475 100%, Replasblak rePE5265 70%, and Replasblak rePE5250 60% - are the company’s first to receive International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) certification, which requires companies to follow the mass balance or material segregation chain of custody models. This helps to ensure that the amount of bio-based, recycled, or renewable content is tracked across the value chain. The masterbatches will be manufactured at Cabot’s recently ISCC-certified plants in Pepinster and Loncin, in Belgium.
The launch comes shortly after Cabot introduced its Evolve Sustainable Solutions technology platform, designed to deliver products that offer sustainable content with reliable performance at industrial scale.
The black masterbatch with 100% attributed recycled content is made of reclaimed carbons from end-of-life tires pyrolysis and mechanically recycled polyethylene. It reportedly reduces greenhouse emissions by 60% in comparison to a standard black masterbatch. It shows medium tint strength, making it suitable for applications that require higher circular content including compounding, recycling, injection moulding and sheet extrusion applications relevant to the automotive, agriculture, packaging, and construction segments.
The masterbatches with 70% and 60% attributed recycled content reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50%. They deliver high tint strength making them suitable for compounding, recycling, injection moulding and sheet extrusion applications relevant to the automotive segment.
A significant issue with virgin black masterbatches and carbon black products is their high environmental impact and the fact that carbon black pigments are not detectable by near-infrared (NIR) optical sorting systems – the most common systems used by plastic recyclers. In a 2019 interview with Sustainable Plastics, a Cabot representative said that there are technologies that can sort carbon black-reinforced black plastics, and that the company was working with a number of sensor-makers and sorting machinery manufacturers. Moreover, it announced plans to launch black masterbatches with 100% recycled content, which it has now fulfilled, as well as to incorporate 100% recycled carbon black, which it is still in the works.
“As the largest global manufacturer of black masterbatch, we have the capacity and expertise to deliver innovative solutions that help our customers solve their sustainability challenges as well as meet our own sustainability objectives,” said Jeff Zhu, executive vice president and president, performance chemicals segment and Asia Pacific region