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Understanding Sustainable Carbonaceous Materials (SCM) & It’s Regulatory Status

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In 2021, Birla Carbon launched the Continua™ brand and its associated Sustainable Carbonaceous Materials products or SCM.

Continua™ Sustainable Carbonaceous Material is a new family of materials, distinct from Carbon Black and, therefore, bears specific regulatory obligations.

Sustainable Carbonaceous Materials are often referred to, in broader terms, as rCB or recovered carbon black, but this is a misnomer. You do not recover carbon black from the pyrolysis of end-of-life tires.  What is created is a valuable carbonaceous material that at Birla Carbon is called SCM.

Continua™ SCM could be viewed as an agglomerated mixture of various materials originally contained in tires, but it is more of an alloy of fused materials like silica, zinc sulphide, some carbonaceous residues and carbon black.

This new family of circular materials is now recognized by various authorities as unique and has been assigned specific product safety codification, distinct from that of Carbon Black.

A new family of circular materials is now recognized by various authorities as unique and has been assigned specific product safety codification, distinct from that of Carbon Black.

In the European Union, a dedicated REACH dossier has been in existence since November 2022. A CAS number has also been assigned to it, permitting its registration in the appropriate chemical inventories worldwide. TSCA, the Toxic Substances Control Act in the USA is an example.

What does it mean for the multiple players within this value chain? How to ensure compliance?  From the SCM producer to the exporter, to the importer, and finally the end user?

While there is still some confusion in the market, and that some SCM derived from the pyrolysis of spent tires is transported as if it were carbon black. This is not only chemically wrong, but it may be unlawful in some situations or in some regions!

The Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which is a legal and mandatory document to transport any chemical substance must correspond to the actual composition, properties, and risks associated with the material it is referring to.

Customs codes or tax codes to cross borders

The Continua™ SCM is fully compliant with these legal obligations. Additionally, various industries have developed voluntary environmental compliance systems with very long restricted substance lists.

The Global Automobile Declaration Substance List, or GADSL, is one example, where the comprehensive chemical composition of your material is needed.

Birla Carbon is the most advanced on this front for SCM derived from the pyrolysis of spent tires through the Continua™ SCM offering.

The Continua™ 8000 grade is also now recognized as being circular through the ISCC PLUS certification.

Birla Carbon can partner with you in achieving your sustainability target through global access to large volumes, consistent quality, and technical handholding for uninterrupted production and Peace of Mind.

Dr. Gilles Moninot

Dr. Gilles Moninot

Dr. Gilles Moninot is Business Head, Continua™ at Birla Carbon. In this function, Gilles is responsible for the development, industrialization, and commercialization of the Continua™ product line destined to increase circularity in the rubber, plastic, and coating industries. This new line of Continua™ Sustainable Carbonaceous Material is a testimonial to Birla Carbon’s declared ambition to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050. Gilles brings over 25 years of global experience in R&D, Product Safety, and Sustainability in the carbon black industry.

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