What’s it all about?

As much as I am a clean energy and clean mobility geek, and entreprenuer, the circular economy also fascinates me. In the near future even the mainstream, not just us cleantech nerds, will question the stupidity of how we have done so much harm to the home (planet) that supports us. Rightly so, we’re frantically addressing the clean mobility transition, but no matter how you power your vehicle, it still has tyres right. So what happens to them when they’re done…. It’s not pretty, until now.

About our guest

Martijn Lopes Cardozo is a Dutch entrepreneur and international executive. He spent several years in the US where he built and grew a number of technology companies, all of which had successful exits. Upon his return to The Netherlands in 2008 Martijn joined several large corporations in strategy and M&A roles. He now brings the circular economy to tires as the CEO of Black Bear Carbon, the tire-to-Carbon Black upcycling company, which earlier this week was selected as a Global Cleantech 100 company for the second year running. Martijn holds a MSc degree in Applied Physics from TU Delft and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Are you worried about tires? With climate change and ocean plastic keeping us up at night, probably not. But every year, more than 1.5 billion polluting end-of-life tires enter the global waste stream, with no sustainable solution for their re-use. Until now. Black Bear upcycles end-of-life tires to produce sustainable, high-quality Carbon Black. This replaces virgin Carbon Black traditionally produced by burning oil – preventing CO2 emissions and solving the global waste tire problem.

Black Bear sells their recovered Carbon Black to major clients worldwide for use in tires, technical rubber, coatings, plastics and inks, including the coatings multinational AkzoNobel and more than 30 other strategically-chosen customers.

Black Bear currently operates an industrial-scale prototype plant in the Netherlands, which is capable of processing more than 1 million tires annually. Their plan is to lead the transition towards a circular economy for tires by rolling out hundreds of tire upcycling plants with local partners around the world, focusing on Europe for their next plants. When Black Bear reaches their full potential of repurposing every end-of-life tire with their circular solution, they will reduce global annual oil consumption by more than 215 million barrels.

Black Bear’s energy-positive process for producing the world’s first Cradle-to-Cradle certified™ Carbon Black is scalable, quickly implementable, and by far the most cost-effective way of producing Carbon Black. Their automated, IoT-optimised production follows a circular economy model: tire rubber with all steel removed is carbonized — carefully heated in the absence of oxygen. This creates gas, crude oil, electricity and solid char. The solid char is processed to create high-quality rCB, while the oil, gas and energy produced can either power the process or be sold into other markets.

In 2018 Black Bear secured €16 million in fresh capital from a consortium including investors like ING Sustainable Investments and Capricorn Venture Partners, to further refine their technology and commence the global rollout.

Martijn Lopes Cardozo on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/martijnlopescardozo/

Martijn Lopes Cardozo on Twitter   https://twitter.com/martijnlopes

Black Bear Carbon on Twitter https://twitter.com/blackbearcarbon

Black Bear Carbon   https://blackbearcarbon.com/

Book recommendations

Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Box-Thinking-Marginal-Performance/dp/1473613809/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464252285&sr=8-1&keywords=Black+Box+Thinking

Walter Isaacson: The Genius Biographies: Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, and Steve Jobs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walter-Isaacson-Biographies-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/1501189018/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548766218&sr=8-1&keywords=walter+isaacson

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