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Evonik's innovative power extends across six business units. This is where products and solutions are developed for the chemistry of tomorrow.
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Key factors in the success of the Advanced Intermediates Business Unit are advanced chemical processes, which Evonik has developed systematically over decades. This applies in particular for the integrated C4 technology platform, where C4 crack is processed into specialties. This business unit has gained access to new growth markets for hydrogen peroxide thanks to its innovative capability. It is the world market leader in alcoholates, which are used as catalysts in the production of biodiesel. The activities of the Advanced Intermediates Business Unit are grouped in the Performance Intermediates, Active Oxygens, Functional Solutions and Agrochemicals & Polymer Additives Business Lines. Sales were around €2.7 billion in 2013.
The Performance Intermediates Business Line has a strong market and technology position in C4 products, oxo-alcohols and high molecular weight plasticizers in Europe. C4 crack is a by-product of crude oil refining. It is produced when naphtha is split into ethylene and propylene in a steam cracker. The C4 hydrocarbons contained in this mixture are isolated, processed and marketed by this business line, for example, as butadiene and butene-1 for the plastics industry, where they are used, for instance, to produce packaging films with high tear resistance. Diisononylphthalate (DINP), which is used as a high molecular weight plasticizer, and the pre-product isononanol (INA) open up a wide range of high-quality applications for standard PVC in the automotive, home and leisure sectors. This business line also markets methyl tertiary butylether (MTBE) to the fuel industry as an anti-knock agent. The Performance Intermediates Business Line's integrated C4 technology platform is characterized by optimal product yields. All hydrocarbons contained in C4 crack are utilized, thereby making efficient use of resources and maximizing costeffectiveness. In 2013, this business line strategically extended its product portfolio by adding a MTBE biovariant and phthalate-free plasticizers. There are also plans to market bio-based plasticizers.
Active Oxygens produces hydrogen peroxide at eleven sites on six continents and is the global number 2 in this field. This environment-friendly oxidation agent is undergoing a particularly dynamic development on the Asian market. This is attributable to a wide range of new applications that extend well beyond the traditional market in the paper and textile industries. For example, in collaboration with the engineering firm ThyssenKrupp Uhde, Evonik has developed an economically viable and environmentally compatible process technology for the production of propylene oxide with the aid of hydrogen peroxide: the hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) process. Propylene oxide is a precursor for polyurethane, which is used in particular as an insulating material in the construction and refrigeration industries, and in instrument panels and cushioning in the automotive industry. Evonik is the only company that can supply the process technology for the HPPO process together with the necessary catalyst and hydrogen peroxide. Other applications for hydrogen peroxide are the treatment of wastewater and exhaust air. In addition, ultrapure hydrogen peroxide is used to clean silicon wafers in chip production.
Alcoholates are essential aids for chemical synthesis and initiate and speed up many reactions. The Functional Solutions Business Line has enormous expertise in the production of specialty catalysts, which are used to produce biodiesel from rapeseed oil. The production facilities are located in Germany, the United States and, since fall 2013, in Argentina. South America is an attractive growth market for biodiesel.
The polymer additives and European cyanuric chloride business activities grouped in the Agrochemicals & Polymer Additives Business Line are positioned in high-growth niches. These include light stabilizers, which prevent the decomposition of plastics when they are exposed to bright light, oxygen and heat. In addition, the business line's technological and chemical expertise opens up new production options for its customers, especially in the agrochemicals industry. For example, it optimizes new active ingredients to improve seed and the soil treatment.
Click here for more information on the products and solutions of the Advanced Intermediates Business Unit:Aerosol propellantsAlkoxidesBiodieselButadienesButene-1Chlor Alkali ChemicalsCO2 extractionCyanuric chlorideHydrogen peroxideIsobuteneJAYHAWK™ DianhydridesMTBEOxo productsPeracetic acidPERACLEAN® OceanSiYPro™TAC/TAICROS®TMT 15®