The world market for technical carbon currently amounts to EUR 40 thousand million. It by ten percent annually. Technical carbon is an intermediate product, which is used to produce activated carbon, carbon fibre and carbon black.
Activated carbon is used in water and gas purification, for instance. Carbon fibres are used in structures that need to be light but strong, such as sport equipment and aeroplanes. Carbon black is used as pigment.
Finnish peat refiner, company Vapo is planning to invest 50 million euros in a new factory, which makes technical carbon from peat using a method that the company has developed. In addition, the factory would produce energy as well.
Traditionally the raw material of technical carbon has been oil or coal. The production needs high temperatures, up to 900 degrees celcius. When compared to this, Vapo’s method saves energy, produces technical carbon with more homogeneous quality and produces less ash.
Vapo is going to choose the site of the factory from three municipalities in Finland, all close to raw material sources. The final investing decisions will be carried out in 2017. The factory would produce tens of thousands of tons of technical carbon. It would employ up to 200 employees.