The Dutch company aims to scale up its unique “Tire to Carbon Black” technology: Each plant would prevent emissions equal to the CO2 captured by more than 1 million trees, according to the company.
Black Bear Attracts 11 Million Euro Funding
It will use the capital to further develop its industrial-scale prototype plant and expand internationally, with the potential for more than 1000 plants worldwide.
Four new partners have become stakeholders: the largest Dutch banking corporation ING Group, two Netherlands-based investment firms 5square and Social Impact Ventures, as well as the conglomerate SCG from Thailand (Asia). “This new consortium means much more than just fresh capital”, says CEO Martijn Lopes Cardozo, “they are strategic partners, who will play a key role in the development of our technology and who will speed up our international roll-out.” Existing investors, including the original funders Chemelot Ventures and DOEN Participaties (Ventures), have also contributed to the round.
Black Bear’s industrial-scale prototype plant is located in Nederweert, The Netherlands. It is capable of processing more than 1 million waste tyres annually, producing 5000 tonnes of Carbon Black, 5000 tonnes of bio-fuel, 3000 tonnes of steel and one megawatt hour of green electricity. The plant is operated in partnership with Kargro, one of Europe’s foremost recyclers of tyres.
Black Bear now offers the first Cradle-to-Cradle Certified™ recovered Carbon Black to customers worldwide. One of more than 30 clients is AkzoNobel: The coatings company is one of the plant’s earliest customers and uses the raw material to make powder coatings.
“It is remarkable that Black Bear is capable of making old tires into a very high-value product that can replace a polluting raw material. During the process, they also generate energy, which means the production process is highly energy-efficient,” says Mark Weustink of ING Sustainable Investments. “With its pioneering circular model, Black Bear creates durable change, and it has already won some large clients such as AkzoNobel.”