70 years ago – 1948

Amino acids from Lake Constance

Evonik has been engaged in the methionine business for 70 years.

70 years ago, the former plant in Konstanz, Germany, opened the first pilot plant to produce a modest quantity of 300 kg of methionine a month. Degussa, one of the predecessor companies of Evonik, had invented the first technically feasible methionine synthesis the year before. The capacity was increased to 3000 kg per month in 1949.

All organisms need amino acids to build proteins, which have a wide variety of functions within the body. Proteins help control vital processes in the body and fight off infections; they are also part of human hair, skin, muscles and connective tissue. Plans originally called for using the amino acids for treating the widespread hunger edema in post-war Germany, or generally as human food supplements, but this application did not gain acceptance. Instead, a new and promising market opened up after animal feeding trials in the early 1950s, which had shown very positive results with synthetic methionine.

Based on these experiences, Evonik now offers solutions for efficient and sustainable animal nutrition to customers in more than 100 countries around the world as the Group's contribution to the efficiency of animal feed.

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