By Camila Souza Ramos, Valor — São Paulo
GranBio Technologies, an American subsidiary of Brazilian GranBio, started a partnership with Indian Birla Carbon to supply a nanocellulose compound, made from biomass, to the tire and rubber industry, replacing carbon black, an oil byproduct.
Called the nanocellulose dispersion compound (NDC), the product started to be developed three years ago by American Process – which was acquired by GranBio last year – together with the Indian company. Patent registration is still pending.
Research carried out by the two companies produced a nanocellulose that does not absorb water, thus overcoming the main technological challenge of using the biomass derivative for application in rubbers.
Paulo Nigro: nanocellulose compound improves tire performance – Photo: Carol Carquejeiro
In a recent interview with Valor, the new CEO of GranBio, Paulo Nigro, said that the company's nanocellulose, in addition to being a renewable alternative to products currently used in the rubber industry, also enhances tire performance. The nanocellulose compound reduces the rolling resistance of tires by up to 30%, which can make cars more fuel-efficient.
The tire industry accounts for about 70% of global carbon black consumption. Birla Carbon, part of the USD 48.3 billion Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, is one of the largest carbon black suppliers in the world. It has 16 factories in 12 countries and two technology centers, one in the United States and the other in India.