Evonik is one of the global leaders in the area of organic solvent nanofiltration, an innovative technology for particularly effective material separation in organic solvents. The Group’s hydrophobic polyimide membranes, sold under the brand names DuraMem® and PuraMem®, are used in processes such as the efficient recovery of valuable homogeneous catalysts, solvent recycling, or gentle processing of natural oils.
In the new thin-film composite plant, thin membrane films are coated with special silicone or other materials. The resulting composite membranes are then turned into solvent-resistant or gas-tight spiral-wound modules in a further production process. The corresponding silicone coating, also manufactured by Evonik, is a key factor for the separation properties of the membrane.
"The start-up of the thin-film composite plant is a consistent step in our growth plan for the attractive membrane business," notes Dr. Matthias Kottenhahn, head of the High Performance Polymers Business Line at Evonik. "It gives our customers direct access to an advanced membrane technology for resource-efficient material separation."
With its investment in Marl, Evonik Industries is now creating the prerequisite for the continuous expansion of its membrane portfolio with attractive new products. The Group is also using its membrane products for the optimization and new design of proprietary production processes.
The start-up also marked the production launch of the third generation of DuraMem® and PuraMem® membranes. Their market introduction is planned for the second half of the current year.
Thanks to membrane coatings that are customized at the molecular level, Evonik’s membrane technology offers the advantages of lower energy consumption, higher yield, and particularly high separation precision.
The Resource Efficiency segment is led by Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH and supplies high performance materials for environmentally friendly as well as energy-efficient systems to the automotive, paints & coatings, adhesives, construction, and many other industries. This segment employed about 8,600 employees, and generated sales of around €4.3 billion in 2015.