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Interview with Continental

Ahead of Carbon Black World 2024 we spoke to Hubert Hirschlag, Head Raw Material Introduction, R & D Material Development at Continental.

Your keynote presentation will focus on Continentals sustainability ambition and implications on carbon black developments. Can you share more detail about what your presentation will be focusing on and what these key sustainability ambitions are?

I will present some of our overarching sustainability goals at Continental Tires. In this context, I will show what it means to increase the sustainability of our production processes and products. What this means for our raw materials and, in particular, what options we are considering as sustainable alternatives to fossil-based carbon black. 

What potential implications will these have on innovation and the supply chain?

Carbon black remains an important resource as a filler in tire production and other industrial rubber goods. Therefore, the use of sustainable alternatives to fossil-based carbon black, such as carbon black recovered from end-of-life tires, is an important step for us towards more circular business practices in our tire production. Sustainable alternatives have an impact on today's material flows. Quality assurance and upscaling require close coordination between suppliers and manufacturers.

 What future challenges and opportunities do you see for the carbon black industry?

Carbon Black is usually produced from fossil feedstocks with a relatively high CO2 footprint. Currently, there are limited known sustainable alternatives.

 What will you be looking forward to the most at Carbon Black World?

I look forward to networking with colleagues from the carbon black industry. Together we'll discuss how to turn the challenge of developing sustainable materials into an opportunity for future growth.