Specialty Chemicals Company Expands Fumed Silica Capacity

Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) recently announced that it has begun expanding its new fumed silica plant in Antwerp. According to the company, the investment cost for the expansion project in the upper double-digit million range.

Expanding its fumed silica capacity will enable Evonik to meet the high consumer demand for its product, particularly its AEROSIL line. The increased plant capacity will also be used to manufacture paints and coatings, advanced adhesive systems, transparent silicones, and nonflammable high-performance insulation materials.

“We’re pursuing a clear growth strategy for our silica business. With the additional capacities, we’re ensuring supply for our customers over the long term,” says Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of Evonik’s executive board.

Along with hydrophilic fumed silica products such as those under the AEROSIL brand, the Antwerp-based plant will also manufacture silica with hydrophobic properties. Due to its tendency to absorb moisture, hydrophobic silica has various applications and is an in-demand silica-based product for many industries.

“We’re happy we’re now in a position to meet customer’s requests for higher quantities, in particular for hydrophobic AEROSIL,” says Andreas Fischer, member of the management board of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH. “The capacity to supply our own raw materials at the site, and its central location in Europe, were also especially important to us for this project. The site’s proximity to the international export port in Antwerp is an important factor in supplying our customers worldwide.”

Source: Evonik Industries, corporate.evonik.com/en.