Evonik Plans Silica Expansion
Evonik has opened its expanded facilities in Ako, Japan, where the company will produce its Sipernat and Carplex lines of specialty silicas. The investment represents a roughly 50%increase in Evonik's Japanese production capacity for specialty silicas, which the specialty chemicals company manufactures through DSL. Japan Co., Ltd. (DSL). Evonik maintains a 51% share in DSL, a joint venture with the Shionogi & Co., Ltd. in Japan.
Applications for Sipernat and Carplex include their use as drug carriers in pharmaceuticals, as flow aids in powdered foods, a thickener for toothpastes, and in beer filtration,
Also. following expansion projects for specialty silica products in Europe and Asia, Evonik is now constructing a facility in Americana, Brazil, which will be the first plant in South America for highly dispersible (HD) silica, a product used primarily in tires with low rolling resistance. In the spring of 2015, the company began the initial planning stages of a new production plant for precipitated silica in the United States. The company hopes to finish construction by the end of 2017. The overall projectâ€”this would be the largest investment that Evonik has made in North America in the past five yearsâ€”is still subject to board approval.
In addition to precipitated silica, the company also produces Aerosil fumed silica and Acematt silica-based matting agents. Evonik's worldwide production capacity for matting agents and for precipitated and fumed silicas is roughly 550,000 metric tons per year.