Oranienburg Black

Oranienburg Black

In my neighborhood used to be one of the first active gas black plants in Germany. Some of the buildings are still there, but nature is now taking over the former area of the “Russwerk Oranienburg”.

At first, I thought this carbon black plant belonged to Degussa and I studied everything I could find about the gripping story of Degussa, August Weglin, the Dortmund Consortium and the CK3/CK4 gas black processes (CK3 used naphtalene / 93.7% C as feedstock and CK4 anthracene / 94.3% C) in the 1930 under the Nazi regime in Germany.

But, the Oranienburg plant was one of the 19 Germany carbon black works that did not belong to Degussa. In my short video “Oranienburg Black” I am telling (part of) the story of this active gas black plant, filmed on a Sirui 35mm T2.9 1.6x anamorphic manual focus lens for cinema wide screen. I wanted to give the video a vintage look, which I did with KodakChrome film emulation, grain and artefacts as well as specific colour grading.

This video is hosted on a new “@recoveredcarbonblack” Youtube channel. You can subscribe to this new channel to always get news on recovered carbon black videos.

PS 1: I do not currently plan to film the “recovered Carbon Black Documentary Film” on anamorphic glass. At present, I only have one wide angle anamorphic lens. Anamorphic glass is also quite heavy and requires additional focus pull add-ons which adds even more weight to the travel equipment.

PS 2: Reading about the German carbon black story, I had many learnings for our recovered carbon black industry, including reflections about consortia, process & product diversity, scale-up, investments and supply chain collaboration.

PS 3: By the way, similarily, when interviewing Robert Hanson together with Paul Ita in the online workshop for sustainable carbon blacks, I thought that Monolith not only changed the paradigm for carbon black manufacture, but also serves as good example of solid growth from a start-up to a corporation with 300 employees. I am convinced that the recovered carbon black industry can get a lot of inspiration from Monolith.

PS 4: Yes, for a while I have pondered about whether I could build a recovered carbon black production works at the place of the Russwerk Oranienburg . . .