Evonik Invests In Antwerp Fumed Silica Production Complex

July 31, 2017
The facility is scheduled to be operational in the summer of 2019.

Aerial view of Evonik's Antwerp site

Evonik is reportedly investing an amount in the upper double-digit million euro range to expand its fumed silica capacities in Antwerp, Belgium. The production complex is scheduled to become operational in the summer of 2019. Typical applications of the specialty silica, which Evonik markets under the name Aerosil, include coatings and paints, modern adhesive systems, transparent silicones and non-flammable high-performance insulation materials. Silica are part of “smart materials,” one of Evonik’s four strategic growth engines with above-average market growth and margin potential, according to the company

The global market for fumed silica shows growth rates exceeding four percent, which outpaces the global economy as a whole, according to Evonik. The market for applications in specialty silicones, adhesives for wind turbines and in the area of non-flammable high-performance insulation is reportedly posting above-average development.

"By expanding our capacities in Antwerp, we want to support the market growth for fumed silica in Europe and other important export markets, while at the same time boosting our integrated European silica-silane production," says Johannes Ohmer, member of the board of management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.

With the new Aerosil expansion, Evonik says it will be able to supply customers not only with hydrophilic but also hydrophobic silica from Antwerp. A modernization of the silane capacity is intended to secure the raw material supply for the Aerosil production and for silanes used in tire production. Aerosil is generated as fumed silica from the high temperature hydrolysis of silanes in a hydrogen flame.

In addition to the fumed silica Aerosil and the precipitated silica Ultrasil and Sipernat, Evonik produces matting agents made from silica under the brand name Acematt. Overall, Evonik's global annual production capacity for precipitated and fumed silica as well as matting agents reaches 600,000 metric tons, according to the company.

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