Cabot Corp. launched new grades of black masterbatch based on recycled polymers during the Plastics Recycling Show Europe 2019, held in Amsterdam 9-11 April.
The three new grades – Techblak PT5001; Techblak PE1003 and Techblak PT6468 – are tailored towards sustainability and are billed by Cabot as an “alternative to virgin-based materials” with similar mechanical processing characteristics.
“It is important to point out that the relevant product for this show are the formulated products and masterbatches, rather than our carbon black range,” said Sebastian Heitkamp, global marketing manager, Cabot Switzerland GmbH.
The grades launched at the show use secondary source materials, including post-consumer and post-industrial recyclates.
Two of the products, PT5001 and PT6468, are based on PET and are food contact grades.
The PE1003 has been developed for standard compounding, for the automotive sector for instance.
“These products have been launched specifically at a time when there is a need for higher sustainability. With our products, manufacturers can say that they have recycled content even at the masterbatch level,” Heitkamp added.
The marketing manager went on to highlight Cabot’s latest efforts in order to address sustainability issues surrounding carbon blacks and black masterbatches.
“You know sustainability is not just about recycling, it is about safety and responsible care. We are the first chemical company to receive a responsible care 14001 certification from BSI auditors in China,” Heitkamp added.
In addition, Cabot is tailoring its production to become “as efficient as possible” in its drive towards sustainability.
But one outstanding issue is the environmental impact of black masterbatch and carbon black products, 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.
“There’s a lot of noise about sortability of black plastic. I call it noise, because I would like to distinguish between fact-based and emotional-based statements out there,” Heitkamp pointed out.