Germany: Versatile Material Lanxess Invests in Production of Ion Exchange Resins

Editor: Alexander Stark

Lanxess is investing in its ion exchange resin production facility at the Leverkusen, Germany, site. The company is optimizing its process technology and operating efficiency for a eight-figure Dollar amount. The project is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2019.

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Specialty chemicals company Lanxess is investing in its production facility for ion exchange resins at its Leverkusen site.
Specialty chemicals company Lanxess is investing in its production facility for ion exchange resins at its Leverkusen site.
(Source: Lanxess)

Cologne/Germany — The company sees a great potential in numerous future-oriented industries for their exchange resins business. Demand for ion exchange resins is for example rising in the battery industry, driven in particular by the trend toward electromobility. The metals essential for battery cell production — lithium, nickel and cobalt — can be extracted by means of ion exchange resins.

Ion exchange resins are polymer beads that absorb undesirable substances in fluids. Depending on the substance, differently functionalized beads are used. Possible household applications include, for example, softening water in dishwashers and cartridges in household water filters. Here, ion exchange resins remove undesired calcium and magnesium salts or lead and copper ions from tap water. This improves the quality and taste of the drinking water.

In power plants, the polymer beads are used in the production of highly purified water and steam. Deposits and corrosion can thereby be prevented and efficiency, operational safety and service life increased. Furthermore, ion exchange resins help in removing selected heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium, and organic pollutants from both groundwater and industrial wastewater.

The Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) business unit is one of the world’s most important providers of water treatment solutions. In addition to ion exchange resins, the specialty chemicals company offers membrane filter elements for reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membranes. The speciality chemicals company is one of very few companies to offer these two different, complementary water treatment technologies from a single source.

In addition to Leverkusen, the business unit operates further plants for the production of ion exchange resins in Bitterfeld, Germany, and in Jhagadia, India. Moreover, the company manufactures reverse osmosis membrane filters in Bitterfeld. The LPT business unit is headed by Bettina Blottko and employs around 530 people worldwide, with roughly 120 of those in Leverkusen.

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