Evonik Industries is expanding its capacities for refinement fumed silica in Rheinfelden (Germany). The Group will invest an amount in the low double-digit million dollar range to expand its Rheinfelden facility, which further processes hydrophilic silica to a hydrophobic variety.
Essen/Germany — The expansion, scheduled to become operational in late 2020, is associated with the company's effort to consistently expand its silica business for specialty applications.
Hydrophobic fumed silica, which the manufacturer markets under the brand name Aerosil, stands out for its low moisture absorption and excellent dispersibility, the company claims. It is used for rheology control and as an anti-settling agent in coating systems, adhesive and sealant materials and as a thickener and anti-caking agent, e.g. in silicone rubber, toners and cosmetics.
Rheinfelden is the parent plant for the company's hydrophobic fumed silicas. They decided in favor of expanding the site because the investment would help them make better use of existing facilities. In addition, the local process know-how and specific long-term experience with the construction and operation of the plants were essential considerations, says Andreas Fischer, head of the Silica Business Line.
The investment will expand the company’s annual capacity for hydrophilic fumed silica at the existing Rheinfelden site by 20 % to meet heavy market demand.