Million–Euros–Investment Plans Lanxess Inaugurates New Production Lines Water Treatment Solutions

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Lanxess inaugurates a new production line at its largest site in Leverkusen for the production of the Lewatit brand of weak acid cation (WAC) exchange resins, as well as bringing a new food-grade filling and packing system into operation. The crisis ridded spacility chemicals company had invested some € 10 million in the expansion process ince April 2013.

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Metering unit for additives at the Leverkusen production facility for Lewatit weak acid cation exchange resins from Lanxess.
Metering unit for additives at the Leverkusen production facility for Lewatit weak acid cation exchange resins from Lanxess.
(Picture: Lanxess)

Levrkusen/Germany – Rainier van Roessel, a member of the Lanxess Board of Management, explains the significance of this investment: “Demand for special cation exchange resins alone is growing at a rate of three to five percent each year. This is why we are raising our profile in this sector and increasing production capacity for WAC resins in Leverkusen by around a third. This investment is a clear indication of our commitment not only to promoting responsible usage of the precious resource water, but also to this site and to the region as a whole.” The Lewatit brand of heterodisperse ion exchange resins has been produced in Leverkusen since the mid-1960s.

Highly Automated Production

The technical aspects of the new production line reflect many years of experience producing WAC resins. The discontinuous (i.e. batch) production process begins with the creation of polymer beads through emulsion polymerization. A mixture of the two polymer components, the monomer and the crosslinker, is placed in an inert solvent in a “beading tank” to form a finely distributed emulsion. Adhering precisely to the reaction parameters is essential for creating a high-quality product.

“This is where our many years of experience are particularly important,” says technical plant manager Uwe Tegtmeier. “To maintain a high degree of reproducibility and consistency in quality at this stage, the procedures involved are largely automated.”

More Lewatit for the Food Industry

To complement the site’s existing filling plant, the recent capacity expansion also included the construction of a new building for filling products destined for food applications. With this food-grade packaging facility, Lanxess is setting high standards for product purity and ensuring even better quality. “Demand for food application products is increasing – as are hygiene requirements within the industry.

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This highly efficient filling and packaging system, which to our knowledge is absolutely unique, equips us perfectly for filling the ever greater volumes that will be produced in the future following our capacity expansion,” says Jean-Marc Vesselle, responsible for the global ion exchange resin business at Lanxess.