Its site in Rheinmünster, Germany, is where Evonik Industries manufactures superabsorbents. These materials are primarily used in personal hygiene products, where they perform such tasks as keeping babies’ bottoms dry.
Because these gel-forming polymer powders are capable of absorbing and holding up to 300 times their own weight, they are also used in products such as feminine hygiene articles and adult undergarments. Evonik is a world leader on this market.
Approximately 50 people work for Evonik’s division Performance Materials at the Rheinmünster Industrial Park near the French border. The first plant for producing flocculants went on-stream here back in 1968, and acrylamide production began in 1974. Fifteen years later in 1989 was when the first superabsorbent line began operations.
A lot has happened since then: two additional plants followed in the 1990s, the continuous production line came on-stream in 2001, and five years later the site was purchased by Stockhausen GmbH, which is now part of Evonik. The superabsorbents plant is now the single largest facility on site.
Launching Stockhausen technology in 2009 made Evonik the only player on the market to invest in kneader technology and in the use of polymer belts in production. The use of a variety of technologies is unique on this market and allows the company to meet many different customer demands.