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Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany) is investing around €15 million in its C4 production network in Marl, Germany. Targeted debottlenecking measures will increase the local production capacity for so-called isobutene derivatives, such as trimethylhexanal (TMH), tert-Butyl alcohol (TBA) and diisobutylene (DiB), by well over 50% by December 2021. In addition, logistics will be further expanded in order to further increase the flexibility of supply to customers: both in terms of the quantities requested and the delivery time.
Another advantage of the investment: The purity for the product TMH increases from > 88 % to > 96 %. This means that in future customers will be able to use TMH directly in their own production process without additional purification – saving time and money. TMH, as an aldehyde with high isomeric purity, is an intermediate product for the production of high-performance lubricants (especially cooling lubricants) and lubricant additives, as well as a component and intermediate product for special products in the cosmetics and fragrance industries.
The products TBA, DiB and TMH are manufactured in the isobutene part of the production network. They are enjoying increasing demand and have high future growth potential. Hinnerk Becker, market segment manager for specialties at Performance Intermediates, explains: “Evonik has enormous expertise in the production of isobutene derivatives with high product and isomer purity. Our investment supports the high growth dynamics in the field of synthetic high-performance lubricants. We are also developing new applications for our petrochemical specialties. With the broadening of our range of isobutene derivatives, we are able to offer our customers an even better combination of supply reliability, flexibility and product quality.”
The background to the investment in the Performance Intermediates business line is the ongoing development of so-called petrochemical specialties. These supplement the well-known classics such as MTBE, 1,3-butadiene or DINP and make a significant contribution to meeting the requirement of 100% material use of all raw material flows and thus to our sustainability strategy.
TBA is available from Evonik in two grades (‘pure’ and ‘azeotropic’) and is used, among other things, for the production of organic peroxides for the plastics industry, as a special solvent, and in the production of tablet coatings by the pharmaceutical industry.
DiB is a highly branched C8 molecule. Due to its high purity, it can be used as an intermediate product for the production of UV stabilizers, high-performance lubricants and special polymer resins.
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