Canadian Biomass Magazine

Origin Materials’ bio-based carbon black meets performance specifications

March 30, 2023
By Origin Materials

Bench-scale results validate Origin’s carbon black as high-performance bio-based tire filler which can be blended into mechanical rubber goods and automotive applications.

HTC primary particles (left) form as “grapelike” aggregates during the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to platform intermediates including CMF and HTC. The structure of these aggregates is complex and similar to (right) N660 carbon black derived from oil. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Origin Materials has produced carbon black blends that perform at or exceed the level of traditional fossil-based carbon black for N660, a widely used and technically demanding performance specification for automotive tires and mechanical rubber goods.

The bench-scale achievement validates the potential for Origin’s sustainable, bio-based, low-carbon carbon black to be used broadly in the large, rapidly growing global carbon black market. The N660 specification represents a “gold standard” which Origin’s blended product has achieved, indicating the potential for widespread adoption of Origin’s carbon black not only in N660 applications, but in less technically demanding specifications, as well.

The materials are expected to be highly sought-after within the global carbon black market, which is experiencing a supply shortage and in need of sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based carbon black, in particular for the automotive industry which has made extensive sustainability and net zero commitments.

For tire applications, Origin’s sustainable carbon black is expected to be an attractive alternative to reclaimed carbon black since it does not suffer the same performance limitations as reclaimed carbon black and can even exceed the performance of fossil-based materials. Origin’s carbon black could help tire manufacturers develop sustainable high-performance products that go beyond the constraints of reclaimed carbon black, which is typically added into fossil carbon black as a 5-10 per cent blend.


The achievement demonstrates the flexibility and transformative potential of Origin’s patented technology platform, which can turn the carbon found in sustainable wood residues into useful materials while capturing carbon in the process. In addition to sustainability and performance advantages, Origin’s carbon black contains no detectable levels of PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

“We have made several carbon black blends that meet or exceed the performance of N660, a highly technical carbon black specification, and we look forward to further increasing the proportion of our material in similar blends in the future in a stepwise fashion, typical of carbon black development programs for tires and other applications,” said Origin Materials co-founder and co-CEO John Bissell. “Our material is uniquely tunable, meaning we can customize it to meet the needs of customers, including for other grades of carbon black that are far less technically demanding. Factoring in its expected low carbon footprint and the absence of PAHs, Origin’s carbon black is a game changer and an attractive alternative to reclaimed carbon black, in particular. I couldn’t be prouder of our team and we are excited to continue moving forward in our efforts to decarbonize the world’s materials.”

Find the full technical overview here.

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