The additional production capacity in Marl is part of Evonik’s three-digit million euro expansion plan throughout Europe for C4-based products.
The new facilities feature a 90-meter column that uses special material streams from the neighboring BP refinery in Gelsenkirchen for production of various C4 chemicals. The column removes the saturated compounds (butanes), which are of less interest to Evonik, from the FCC-C4 material stream, so the more valuable unsaturated C4 compounds (butenes) can be further processed into specialty chemicals.
According to Evonik, the new process at the plants means that FCC-C4 material streams can be used for production of a wider range of chemicals.
Johann-Caspar Gammelin, chairman of the board of management of Evonik Performance Materials GmbH, explained: “The new technology significantly expands our raw material base. It gives us access to raw material streams that have so far not been used for downstream chemical processing.”
Evonik has also invested in its C4 activities in Antwerp, Belgium, with the plants starting up in the second quarter of 2015. The new production facilities have expanded its capacity to produce the plasticizer alcohol isononanol in Marl in Antwerp, and the fuel additive MTBE in Marl and Antwerp.